Health care oversight board victim of political inaction

    A state health care watchdog group will likely dissolve because a health care bill did not go to vote before the Senate. It may affect how doctors treat patients. WHYY’s Peter Crimmins reports.

    A state health care watchdog group will likely dissolve because a health care bill did not go to vote before the Senate. It may affect how doctors treat patients. WHYY’s Peter Crimmins reports.

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    Earlier this year Governor Rendell granted an extension to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council so it could remain active until the Senate voted on his health care bill. The Senate did not vote on it, so the Council will cease to exist November 30. Senators opposed to the bill say it would cost too much to implement. Marc Stier of Health Care For America Now says the impasse is due to an ideological clash.

    Stier: The money is there. They want to spend a certain amount of state money to insure fifteen or twenty thousand people. For the same state money if we created a better program we could have drawn down $400 million dollars of federal money and insured a quarter of a million people.

    Many Pennsylvania doctors say the bill was burdened with too many elements to be able to come to an effective compromise. Dr. Peter Lund, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, was advocating for part of the bill that would have lowered the cost of a doctor’s medical liability insurance.

    Lund: This problem isn’t going to go away, because we can’t attract and maintain physicians in the state. And if we don’t have physicians, nobody is going get care.

    Lund says doctors will likely go to other states where it is more lucrative to practice.

     

    Previous coverage on this story:
    PA GOP says no money for uninsured coverage

    PA Legislature does health reform in small pieces

    Kerry Gren’s report Race to pass PA insurance bills (9/24/08)

    Jen Rehill’s report from Harrisburg Health insurance bill continues to meet resistance in PA State Senate (9/17/2008)

    Peter Crimmins’ report Doctors pushing stalled PA “Health Care for All” bill (9/17/2008)

    Kerry Grens’ report Lawmakers to act on health insurance (9/4/2008)

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