PA Legislature does health reform in small pieces

    The Governor and legislative leaders are still negotiating on his plan to cover Pennsylvania’s uninsured – but the clock is running out for the Assembly’s calendar for the year. In the meantime, as Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol, the state Senate has approved portions of an alternative Republican plan.

    The Governor and legislative leaders are still negotiating on his plan to cover Pennsylvania’s uninsured – but the clock is running out for the Assembly’s calendar for the year. In the meantime, as Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol, the state Senate has approved portions of an alternative Republican plan.

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    Transcript:

    Two bills that are part of the GOP’s HealthNET plan would expand so-called “COBRA” insurance. That allows employees at large companies to retain coverage for 18 months after leaving a job, if they pay the full premium.

    One measure extends would mandate COBRA for small businesses, the second allows parents to extend their insurance for their children under thirty.

    Democratic Senator Jim Ferlo voted for both, but objects to the overall approach.

    Ferlo: What I do want to characterize, is the attempt by the Republican majority to kind of cherry pick healthcare reforms…

    Prime sponsor Senator Jake Corman agrees that there is more work to be done, but says his plan will help some people.

    Corman: One person may refer to it as cherry picking, another person may say targeting those who are uninsured and develop products that may benefit some.

    The Senate is only in session for three more days this year, October 6th through the 8th, making the passage of any major healthcare legislation look like it may have to wait until 2009.

     

    Previous Coverage:

    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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