Abington, PA – September 28, 2017 – Senator Art Haywood (D, Montgomery/Philadelphia) today announced his plan to introduce health insurance legislation that will cover everybody and reduce healthcare costs into the Pennsylvania State Senate.
“We have to get everyone covered in a simple healthcare system that will drive down the cost,” said Haywood. “Right now, administrative roles in healthcare far outnumber physicians and each insurer has its own payment, network and reimbursement system. We all pay the price for the work that goes into navigating and the billing of these individual systems.”
Healthcare is becoming unaffordable for many businesses and people. A recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that health coverage for the average American family costs $18,764 annually. Individuals covered through their employers pay nearly $6,000 toward total costs and employers pay the remainder, more than $13,000. A study from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst indicates that a single-payer healthcare system will save billions for both businesses and employees, as well as cover everyone.
“Businesses can’t bear the cost of our healthcare and neither can individuals alone. We should remove the burden and cover everyone with one program that we all pay into,” said Haywood.
Joining the senator in support for this legislation were representatives from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP), the Pennsylvania Federation Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, Healthcare for All PA and Women’s March PA.
“Before I was organizing around single-payer healthcare, I worked in housing in Philadelphia, particularly with families who were facing foreclosure,” said Natalie Midiri of Healthcare for All PA. “Family after family was coming into my office because they had a healthcare event that was tremendously expensive that they couldn’t afford. This brought them to a place where they were forced between making mortgage payments or paying for healthcare treatments. In a country like ours, that’s a terrible shame.”
“Our union has long been a supporter of single-payer healthcare and are very pleased to be here today with Senator Haywood and other members of the community to show support for the senator’s plan,” said Susan Reardon of the Pennsylvania Federation. “I want to thank the senator for taking this issue up and leading the fight for single-payer healthcare in the Pennsylvania State Senate.”
“I am a transplant patient. There are 120,000 people waiting for a transplant right now and 18 of those people die every day,” said Shawna Knipper of Women’s March PA and a kidney transplant recipient. “As a recipient of a transplant, that does not mean I am cured; bills come in regularly. Our government not only has a fiscal responsibility to use our tax payer money wisely, but also a responsibility to our citizens to ensure that every person has coverage. Healthcare is a human right.”
“Healthcare professionals who work at the bedside in direct patient care are strong supporters of this legislation,” “We did a survey of registered nurses around the state last month and 76 percent said that they were seeing patient care and outcomes getting worse, not better, despite all the money we are throwing at the system. That’s because we have all of these [disparate] institutions and administrative costs that are sucking money that could be better spent.”
Senator Haywood noted that the journey to single-payer healthcare in Pennsylvania will be a long one, but encouraged participants and Pennsylvania residents to continue to push for change.
“I ask you to join me and join those who are with me today. Contact my office and let me know that you are in support so that we can broaden that support across the entire state,” said Haywood.