Green Party Of Pennsylvania Praises Proposed State-Based Single Payer Plan

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 2:28 AM, Green News – DC <> wrote:

(Distributed by the Green Party of the United States,

Green Party of Pennsylvania
For Immediate Release: March 19, 2013

Green Party of Pennsylvania website:

Jay Sweeney,
David Ochmanowicz,
Carl Romanelli,

Green Party of Pennsylvania applauds State Senator James Ferlo and
Healthcare 4 All PA for persistence regarding state-based Single Payer

Pittsburgh-area legislator to introduce Family and Business Healthcare
Security bill in current legislative session, while Healthcare 4 All
releases results of Economic Impact Study.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania extends its sincere gratitude to
Senator James Ferlo of Pittsburgh for his continued work toward a
state-based single payer plan.  During past legislative sessions
Senator Ferlo has been the lead legislator in the Pennsylvania Senate
on this issue.  The Greens also extend congratulations and
appreciation to the non-profit organization, Healthcare 4 All PA,
which has worked tirelessly to help Pennsylvanians on a path to
meaningful and civilized health coverage.  In recent years Healthcare
4 All PA has provided information on the savings single payer offers
Pennsylvania municipalities and school districts.  Many in the
organization have also requested the Pennsylvania Legislature fund a
study to determine the impact on the entire state economy, a request
that was ignored.  So the group, through its own funding, commissioned
an Economic Impact Study, conducted by Professor Gerald Friedman of
the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  The results, released last
week, are significant in the savings for individuals, government and
business.  In all, Pennsylvania would save $17 billion yearly in
health related expenditures, while providing full and comprehensive
coverage to all Pennsylvanians.

“The Green Party stands in solidarity with those working towards state
sponsored single payer health care legislation.  We are often critical
of politicians for doing wrong, but, Senator Ferlo is right in this
case and we support his efforts.  We encourage both houses of the
General Assembly to work quickly to pass this legislation.  Health
Care for All Pa’s Economic Impact Study proves the economic benefit.
In fact, passage of this legislation would provide real economic
stimulus for the Commonwealth,” said Green Party Chair, Jay Sweeney.

“Various forms of single payer exist in dozens of countries around the
world.  It is time for Pennsylvanians to have that same healthcare
security.  If passed, single payer healthcare would be the most
significant anti-poverty legislation ever passed here.  Also,
Pennsylvania workers would have more flexibility in employment, since
health coverage would not be linked to specific employers,” suggested
Katrina Brabham , Chair, Alleghany County Green Party.

If passed, single payer would create a system in which a Pennsylvania
Healthcare Trust will be the administrator of an all-inclusive health
insurance.  The plan would provide coverage that includes medical
care, prescription coverage, emergency transport, long-term care,
addiction treatment, mental health, physical therapy, dental, vision
and more.  The cost would be a 3% tax of income ($30 on every $1,000
earned) for those with income, and a 10% tax on gross payroll as the
employer contribution.  In addition, state and federal funds used for
medical purposes in Pennsylvania, would also go into the trust fund.
Study available at

“The model is effective, and quite simple to understand.  Currently
our state wastes tremendous amounts of money on administration, while
for-profit insurance companies cash in on complex rules that often
deny needed coverage to its policyholders.  A single payer plan has
one risk pool of 13 million Pennsylvanians, with one administrator.
As opposed to the current private insurance system with dozens of
companies, offering hundreds of plans; none of which are as complete
single payer coverage.  Such comprehensive coverage is not available
now, at any price,” said Green Party Steering Committee member, Carl

Among findings of Economic Impact Study:

If enacted, the Pennsylvania Health Plan would save $33 billion
dollars in 2014, allowing for coverage of all Pennsylvanians while
still netting $17 billion in savings over current costs.

The 3% tax on an individual’s income would provide a lower premium
cost for more than 80% of Pennsylvania citizens.

Plan would have no additional premiums, deductibles or co-payments.

Plan would save local government and school districts 40 to 60% of
current costs; more for municipalities or school districts with health
insurance pension obligations.

Plan would create 120,000 to 200,000 new jobs.

Plan would allow patients access to doctors and hospitals of their
choice, as opposed to the restrictive limitations placed on
individuals by for-profit insurance.

Healthcare costs would be controlled and more predictable and
prescription drugs could be purchased in larger quantities, thereby
saving significantly over current practices.

Plan would put Pennsylvania on a path to sustainable healthcare for
the future.  For example, during the past 20 years Pennsylvania
healthcare costs have risen by $60 billion dollars.  However, the area
of most pronounced growth has been in billing and administration, as
opposed to actual improvements in healthcare.

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