Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lancaster Healthcare Conference on September 18

From Progressives for Pennsylvania:


Support Mounts for Single-Payer Legislation in Pennsylvania

LANCASTER, PA—Progressives for Pennsylvania (P4P), a locally-based activist group and vocal advocate for healthcare reform, is sponsoring its second regional healthcare conference, this time focusing on the single-payer, universal coverage option offered by House Bill 1660 and Senate Bill 300, now pending in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Entitled “Single-Payer, GUARANTEED HEALTHCARE for All: A Mainstream Solution!,” the conference will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2008, at the Roschel Performing Arts Center of Franklin & Marshall College, 628 College Avenue, Lancaster, from 7 pm to 9:30 pm. The public is welcome and admission is free.

A stellar panel of experts representing a true cross section of policy makers and opinion leaders will clarify the oft-misunderstood or misused concepts of “single-payer” and “universal” as applied to healthcare coverage. A question-and-answer period will follow the formal presentations.

In addition to former Philadelphia Health Commissioner and nationally recognized healthcare consultant Dr. Walter Tsou, the panel members represent groups as varied as the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Pennsylvania nurses, Pennsylvania medical students, Pennsylvania doctors, the Pennsylvania League of Women voters, award-winning journalists, business leaders, union leaders, and educators. A complete list of panelists and their credentials is posted on the Progressives for Pennsylvania website at

SB 300 and HB 1660, known collectively as "FAMILY AND BUSINESS HEALTHCARE SECURITY ACT," were introduced in their respective legislative bodies by State Senator Jim Ferlo and State Representative Kathy M. Manderino to address the growing crisis in Pennsylvania. Statistics from various sources estimate as many as 4 million are uninsured and underinsured, or about one third of the Commonwealth’s population.

“This legislation, if passed, would make Pennsylvania the first state in the nation to enact truly universal, comprehensive healthcare for all, and it would pay its own way in the process,” says Progressives for Pennsylvania leader Jerry Policoff, “And it would cost less than Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses are currently spending on health-related expenses.”

Both Ferlo and Mandarino will be at the conference to discuss specifics of the bills and what sets them apart from competing bills proposed by Governor Rendell and other legislators.

Co-sponsors of the conference are American Medical Students Association (AMSA); American Patients United;; Lancaster Coalition for Peace and Justice (LCPJ); League of Women Voters Pennsylvania; Progressive Democrats of America: Healthcare Not Warfare Campaign; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; The Local Economy Center at Franklin & Marshall College; Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP); Physicians for a National Healthcare Program (PNHP); Pennsylvanians United for Singlepayer Healthcare (PUSH)

“At a forum P4P held last year, Governor Ed Rendell pledged to sign this legislation if it reached his desk, a pledge he had made before and has reiterated since,” said Policoff.

“This is an idea whose time has come, and it is gaining momentum and growing mainstream support every day”.

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