Pennsylvania Insurance commissioner proposed health care reforms for Congress to consider.

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  • Pennsylvania Insurance commissioner proposed health care reforms for Congress to consider.

Faced with increasing problems for residents in his state relating to the current health care system, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario is urging Congress for a specific set of reforms that would keep coverage affordable and open to those with pre-existing conditions.

Faced with increasing problems for residents in his state relating to the current health care system, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario is urging Congress for a specific set of reforms that would keep coverage affordable and open to those with pre-existing conditions.

Referencing a series of town meetings throughout the state that had unearthed "deep-seated" problems with the state's health care system, and noting Governor Edward Rendell's desire as well, Ario proposed on Tuesday a series of "common sense solutions" that he believed should be added to any eventual reform legislated by Congress.

The three main additions highlighted by Ario were the elimination of exclusions and "discrimination" based on pre-existing conditions, requiring coverage to have a health insurance plan in order to spread costs across a larger group, and to provide subsidies that would keep costs down, according to Reuters.

"These three reforms build on each other to create a fair and efficient
system," Ario said. "We cannot cover everyone if insurance companies are free to exclude people with health problems. But it is not practical to require insurance companies to cover everyone if people can jump in and out of coverage as they need it. And it is not fair to require low-income citizens to buy coverage if they cannot afford it.

There are currently 300,000 citizens in Pennsylvania on a waiting list for subsidized health insurance coverage. Among the reforms mentioned in President Barack Obama's speech to Congress on Wednesday were a requirement for all citizens to have some type of coverage as well as many provisions designed to lower costs for those who need insurance the most.

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Posted: September 10, 2009

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