Lobbying for a single-payer plan

    The plan would expand health insurance coverage by having state government pay for all health care across the Commonwealth.

    Advocates for a single-payer state health plan are re-starting the debate over the best way expand health insurance coverage in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers heard from supporters and critics in Philadelphia on Friday.

    Listen:

    [audio:090417tehealth.mp3]

    Chuck Pennacchio leads Healthcare for All Pennsylvania. He’s pushing for a single-payer plan. Businesses and individuals would pay into a health care trust fund. The state government would use that fund to pay for health care across the Commonwealth.

    Pennacchio says Pennsylvanians spend about 8 percent of their income on health care now. His plan proposes a 3 percent personal income tax.

    Pennacchio:
    Yes, it’s a new tax but it’s a fair-share health and wellness tax that’ll actually reduce the burden on families. In addition it will reduce the burden on business who are being asked to pay a 10 percent payroll tax.

    Pennacchio says employers who now offer health insurance often spend more than 20 percent of their payroll on health care.

    Critics of the single-payer idea say the plan would establish a government monopoly with little motivation to rein in health costs or finance medical innovation.

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