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.



    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.

    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.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal