Rendell continues push for "Cover All Pennsylvanians"

By Nathan Benefield

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has revised his proposal to increase government spending and eligibility for health insurance yet again. The latest edition has lowered the cost of the program by reducing the number of expected enrollees.

The latest edition responds to criticisms that the original proposal cost too much, but not to the analysis that it doesn’t “cover all Pennsylvanians,â€? it doesn’t benefit those currently struggling with the rising cost of insurance, it will result in “crowd out,â€? and won’t actually reduce the number without insurance.

His compromise includes restoring the MCare abatement fund (which expired earlier this year, and he was using as leverage) – a funding source which subsidizes medical malpractice insurance by taxing smokers – and perhaps the Senate Republicans plan to offer tax credits for donations to free clinics.

Giving the looming budget deficit, it is hard to see how this minor scale back will be affordable.

While there has been a push for some real health care reform in both the PA House and Senate, those proposals have been largely ignored.

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