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PHILADELPHIA, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The undersigned organizations from around the state are releasing the attached letter on Thursday, calling on the major Democratic candidates campaigning here now to draw attention to Pennsylvania's efforts to reform healthcare access and lower costs in SB 1137, HB 2098 and HB 2005.
An Open Letter
April 10, 2008
Dear Senator Clinton and Senator Obama:
Healthcare has been central to each of your campaigns. As you work here in advance of the April 22nd primary, we wanted to alert you that healthcare is the number one opportunity we have to improve the lives of working Pennsylvanians right now. We, the undersigned, believe your campaigns could advance the cause of Pennsylvania's reforms, should you choose to make them an issue.
Early last year, Governor Rendell unveiled an ambitious package of reforms known as The Prescription for Pennsylvania (Rx4PA, www.rxforpa.com). Rx4PA would expand access to health insurance with a high quality healthcare plan. With revisions from the House Democrats, that plan is now known as "Access to Basic Care," and it passed the House this month in Senate Bill 1137.
Rx4PA would also rein in the forces that have driven up the price of insurance in the small group market, reward employers already providing coverage and insure that no one with a pre-existing condition is denied coverage. These also passed the House of Representatives in House Bill 2098 and House Bill 2005.
If these reforms succeed in the Commonwealth, it will make the arguments for either of your national plans much stronger. Rx4PA's success should also galvanize your allies in Washington while chastening your opponents. In this way, the states really are the proving ground for great changes that Washington can adopt later. It will take state action first to begin changing the way that healthcare gets paid for.
In the national debate and in Pennsylvania, some argue that market forces can fix healthcare. "Consumer Driven Plans" are getting pitched here, too, though everyone reasonable knows it has been lax oversight in the insurance market that has allowed the industry to make coverage unaffordable. We must defeat the argument for a pure market solution soundly.
The undersigned ask that you help us get another 200,000 Pennsylvanians covered. Your campaigns could each focus a great deal of attention on these reforms. That's why we are looking to you now. Help us pass The Prescription for Pennsylvania.
John Dodds, Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Rev. Robert Coombe, Yardley United Methodist Church
Rev. Randy Barge, Calvin Presbyterian Church
Joe Hoeffel, Montgomery County Commissioner
Lance Haver, Director of Consumer Affairs, City of Philadelphia
Campaign for Working Families
National Physicians Alliance
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger
Rev. Robert Combe, Yardley United Methodist Church
David Hodo, Norristown Councilman at large, President George Washington Carver Community Center
Jewish Labor Council
Lisa Romaniello. Upper Moreland Township Commissioner
Bill Procyson, Norristown Councilman at large
Linda Christian, Norristown Councilwoman 2nd District
William Caldwell, Norristown Councilman 3rd District
Olivia Brady, Norristown Community Activist
National Nursing Centers Consortium
The PFT Local#3 Retirement Chapter
Pennsylvania Democracy for America
SOURCE Philadelphia Unemployment Project