Healthcare4AllPA released an anticipated economic impact study today showing huge savings for Pennsylvania, significant employment gains and a healthier, more productive workforce should it adopt a single payer system of health care. The study was done by Gerald Friedman an economist at the University of Massachusetts. It says the Pennsylvania Health care Plan, if implemented, would save every Pennsylvanian $1,000/year in health care costs. It would provide blanket care including dental, prescriptions, vision and home health care with no deductibles or co-payments. Health care spending in the Commonwealth is increasing at an unsustainable rate and the percentage of those without care is now at 11%.
Personal health care spending has been rising at an unsustainable pace in Pennsylvania, more than doubling between 1997 and 2012 (see Figure 1). Health care costs have risen faster than income, raising the share of health care in the Pennsylvania economy from 14 percent of state income in 1997 to over 19 percent in 2012 (see Figure 2). Health care cost inflation is squeezing disposable income for Pennsylvanians. Had health care spending per person risen only as fast as the consumer price index, then spending would be 37% less, saving the average Pennsylvanian over $3000 (see Figure 1). Had health care spending remained at the 1997 share of income, the average resident of Pennsylvania would have spent over $2300 less on health care, or over $9000 less for a family of four in 2012.
Under the Plan every Pennsylvanian would be covered and monies currently being expended by Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, private companies purchasing health insurance and state and local governments would combine with a 10% payroll tax and a 3% personal income tax would provide enough money to cover everyone with $1.1 billion left over. Cost savings from the current system is sufficient to cover every single person with fully comprehensive care.
According to the study this would provide a healthy, productive workforce, make the Commonwealth extremely attractive to businesses and employers and save them tremendous amounts in overhead currently diverted to health management. It then would free businesses to focus on their core business functions.
Overall health care spending in Pennsylvania would fall from $144 billion to $128 billion a savings of 11%. It predicts job growth of 226,000 jobs as a result of such legislation passing the state legislature.
Seeing the specific numbers causes one to wonder how anyone in state government could oppose such a plan. The savings for state and local governments alone is huge and when combined with the job numbers, the improved health of the state’s population and the fact it solves a major problem within the state this is a no brainer.
The Pennsylvania Plan would produce substantial health and economic gains for Pennsylvania. The new system would create such large economies in the administration of health care that all of those currently uninsured could be given access to health care with money left over. Furthermore, by financing health care with taxes linked to income, the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan would produce large savings for the great majority of Pennsylvania residents. Finally, by reducing business costs, it would also lead to expansion in employment.
I was in Kutztown last evening covering a forum on single payer healthcare and got to see my old friend Chuck Pennacchio for the time in ages. He is Executive Director of Healthcare4AllPA.org and was accompanied by Board President Dave Steil. Dave is a former businessman and retired State Representative. They were joined by dedicated activists Rosie Skomitz and Ron Stouffer while Chuck Brown emceed the evening. A lot of old friends from the Kutztown area were there and I don’t get up to that neck of the woods as much since moving to Mt. Penn a year ago. It was nice to see old friends.
Healthcare has been bankrupting this country and giving us a poor return in terms of outcomes for too many people. I’ve been a strong supporter of single payer and helped this organization in its early years with a bit of consulting (for disclosure purposes). Chuck spoke first followed by Dave. Rosie then spoke for a time before a lengthy question and answer period began. There were good questions and good answers. I jumped in at one point to further clarify steps being taken to expand medical services ahead of ObamaCare’s implementation with my knowledge as a Planned Parenthood Board member.
Emcee Chuck Brown, publisher of Common Sense 2:
Healthcare For All PA Executive Director Chuck Pennacchio:
Five hundred people are expected to descend on the Capital Rotunda in Harrisburg Thursday to rally for singl epayer healthcare reform. Rallying for House Bill 1660 and Senate Bill 400 Healthcare 4 ALL PA will ask state legislators to fund an economic impact study on healthcare in the Commonwealth and for passage of medical care in which everone is IN and nobody OUT.
A study released last week shows that (as of 2007, before the recession) 60% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical costs and that 80% of these people HAD health insurance. This proves that passing “reform” which includes the health insurance industry is a cruel hoax. That industry IS the problem, not the solution. A huge government bailout of this industry which mandating purchase of insurance really is, will only make poor people poorer without alleviating the problems with the broken system.
Harrisburg – Several hundred Pennsylvanians will rally at the Capitol Rotunda, 11 a.m., Thursday, June 11, in support of newly reintroduced Senate Bill 400 and House Bill 1660, the “Family and Business Healthcare Security Act.” The Harrisburg unity gathering represents the broadest coalition of groups ever to support the Single Payer Solution: publicly-funded, privately-delivered, quality, comprehensive, healthcare for all.
In addition to Patricia Eakin, RN from Temple University Hospital and PASNAP President, speakers will include William George, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO; David Fillman, Executive Director, AFSCME 13; Representative Thomas Murt, Republican, Montgomery County; Donna Smith, California Nurses Association/NNOC and star of documentary “SiCKO; Mike Stout, President, Steel Valley Printers of Pittsburgh; and Chuck Pennacchio, Executive Director, Healthcare for All Pennsylvania.
WHO: Dressed in hospital gowns, hundreds of nurses, doctors, patients, healthcare advocates and labor unions along with State Representatives and Senators who support single-payer healthcare in Pennsylvania
WHAT: Healthcare Rally at Capitol
WHEN: Thursday, June 11th, 11:00 Entertainment; 11:30-12:30 Speakers
WHERE: Capitol Rotunda, 100 Third Ave, Harrisburg, PA, 17120
Conservatives are blasting the public with a new round of propagandistic commercials lying, again, about healthcare reform. In echoes of the infamous “Harry & Louise”commercials targeting HillaryCare Rick Scott is starring in new commercials being produced by the same people responsible for the Swift Boat smears against John Kerry. These new talking points are filled with fear mongering which has no basis in truth.
I just witnessed Bay Buchanan speak with her forked tongue on CNN saying there is less support now for a government run, single payer plan today than in the 1990’s. That is a bold faced lie. In reality more and more Americans support single payer now than ever before. In Pennsylvania support for such a plan is at 73% in polls. There is also the propaganda that single payer removes your right to choose your doctor. In reality this system would gibe you more choices, more freedom to choose your doctors and care givers. Because HR 676 is a publicly financed, privately delivered healthcare plan no one gets between you and your doctor any longer.
Try getting that from your HMO, your preferred provider network or any other private insurance plan at any price. You cannot. Anyone telling that single payer limits or eliminates your choices is a liar. Bay Buchanan is a liar and fear monger who needs to get some facts before embarrassing herself on national television.
The policy being developed in Washington is NOT singlepayer however. President Obama is not supporting such legislation and the confusion being fostered by Rick Scott and Republicans is very disingenuous in trying to make you think it is. Instead it is a massive government sponsored bailout for an insurance industry which has screwed Americans over medical care for decades. It would require you to buy health insurance.
The commercials crook Rick Scott is shilling are revealing in the fact conservatives have chosen this criminal to block reform. Scott’s own healthcare corporation was convicted of stealing your tax dollars to line his pockets by defrauding Medicare. You read that right: the man who has made himself spokesman against healthcare reform is against it because he ripped off government healthcare for billions. He is a crook.
Once Rick Scott discloses this on his “Conservatives For Patient Rights” (a typical Machiavellian title) commercials maybe we can begin to take him seriously. Unfortunately he continues showing us his lack of ethics and morals.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal repeated the Republican lie that government run healthcare means putting a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. This fear smear was included in his remarks last evening as the official Republican response to President Obama.
Single payer universal healthcare does the opposite of what Jindal accuses. It actually removes all corporate bureaucrats from your healthcare. There are no more “gatekeepers,” no HMO bureaucrats determining if you get medical care, no health insurance bureaucrats denying you medical care, no referral permissions, no one determining your medical care except you and your doctor.
It is our current system which is run by non medical bureaucrats. A government run, single payer system removes all such barriers. There are NO bureaucrats determining any aspect of your medical care. Gov. Jindal knows this but he also knows that spreading fear smears will scare people into opposing the best system available. A single payer system as proposed leaves all doctors, nurses, medical staffers and executives in the private sector. No provider would work for the government as their statement implies. It is simply a simplified, drastically cheaper system for administering payments.
It is so much simpler your doctor won’t need five employees just to battle the insurance companies for payment. It is so much simpler you won’t have to worry about getting sick or injured because we use all those healthcare dollars wasted on bill collection and corporate bureaucracy to COVER EVERYONE COMPLETELY. These health insurance bureaucrats absorb 30% of our health care dollars. That means 30 cents of every dollar is sucked up by the health insurance companies before a penny of care is delivered. Add up what is spent on CEO salaries, marketing and profits and this is why 47 million Americans have NO coverage.
Bobby Jindal should be ashamed for spreading such a lie but we know Republicans have no shame when it comes to protecting their corporate benefactors. If they are serious about fixing the economy they’d be behind this idea. Single payer means making American companies competitive in the global economy once again. A single payer system means lowering your taxes because they are paying as much as 20-22% of payroll for healthcare benefits. The system proposed for Pennsylvania reduces this to 10%. Cutting this expense in half for cities, the Commonwealth and school districts will cut their expenses for this major budget item in half. Sometimes more. Meanwhile Gov. Rendell is doing everything in his considerable power to block the bill. He has Majority Leader Todd Eachus blocking it in the State House so vigorously we must get the word out that these two are destroying healthcare in Pennsylvania.
It isn’t only Republicans who are beholden to the insurance industry.