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    Pelosi visits Jeff Hospital to push health overhaul

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was in Philadelphia Monday making her pitch for a health care fix that ensures that every American has health insurance.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was in Philadelphia Monday making her pitch for a health care fix that ensures that every American has health insurance.

    Listen:

    [audio:090921tehospital.mp3]

    The speaker toured Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where she met with doctors and patients who shared their struggles with the health system.

    Margie Salvante’s son suffers from an eye disorder that makes reading difficult. She pays $700 each month for health insurance. But her son’s care is still unaffordable.

    Salvante: As it turned out the health insurance did not cover the therapy, and in spite of the fact that we were seeing great progress, after completely tapping out all of my credit cards, we had to stop the therapy.

    Speaker Pelosi says the House of Representatives is moving forward with legislation that includes a public health insurance option. She also wants industry changes to prevent insurance companies from charging higher prices for people with health problems.

    Jefferson Emergency medicine doctor Bernard Lopez says the hospital cares for everyone who comes through the ER whether they have health coverage or not.

    Lopez: The cost of this care, as you can imagine, is high in terms of time, money and resources. The cost gets shifted somewhere and somebody has to pay for this.

    Pelosi says insured people shoulder some of that burden through expensive health insurance premiums. The speaker wants a health care remake that requires everyone to have health insurance, similar to the state mandate for auto insurance.

    Pennsylvania Representatives Allyson Schwartz, Chaka Fattah and Bob Brady joined Pelosi on the hospital tour.

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