Pa. advisors will map out the health overhaul

    Ed Rendell says Pennsylvania can’t wait for the next governor, so Wednesday he established two advisory groups to figure out how to carry out the state mandates of the health law.

    The first group is made up of members of the Rendell administration.

    The second committee will include representatives from the insurance industry, hospitals, doctors, the uninsured and someone to stand in for small business.

    Rendell says the groups will establish consumer-friendly ways to inform residents about their new insurance options, and devise the best way to dole out the subsidy for people with serious medical conditions.

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    Rendell: To get a structure that we can hand to the next governor and say: ‘Look, this is a structure, obviously, you have the right to change it, tweak it, modify, amend it, anything you want,’ but we don’t want them to have to start from scratch a year later.

    Rendell says his team has crunched the numbers, and the new health law will save Pennsylvania as much as $650 million in the next eight years. Though, he admits, in year 10 the overhaul begins to cost the state money.

    During the debate, many predicted that the overhaul would sink states financially. But among other savings, Rendell says Pennsylvania will need less state funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Commonwealth will collect higher rebates for some medicines.

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