Pennsylvania Gerald Friedman 2013

The Pennsylvania Health Care Plan: Impact and Implementation

Authors: Gerald Friedman, PhD
Published: March 5, 2013
Financed by:
Legislation analyzed: Pennsylvania Health Care Plan

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This policy memo explores the economic implications of establishing the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan (PHCP) to provide universal health care in Pennsylvania through a one-payer system. The proposed plan would finance virtually all necessary medical care including hospital care, doctor visits, mental health, prescribed occupational and physical therapy, prescription drugs, eye care, medical devices as well as medically necessary nursing home care and home health care and dental care. Medical care would be financed through the PHCP without deductibles or co-payments for designated primary care or for preventive services.

The PHCP will finance medical care with substantial savings compared with the existing multi-payer system of public and private insurers. Some of these savings would be used to extend coverage to the 11 percent of Pennsylvania residents without insurance and to improve coverage for the growing number with inadequate coverage. In addition to improving access to health care, the PHCP would reduce economic inequality by replacing the current regressive system of health insurance finance with contributions proportional to payrolls and to income from capital. By reducing administrative and other waste, the PHCP would increase real disposable income for most Pennsylvania residents, promote increased employment while reducing the burden of health care on business.