|Posted:||August 3, 2021 09:50 AM|
|From:||Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski and Rep. Jessica Benham|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Public Healthcare Advocate Act|
|After sustaining injuries at an event hosted by a local health system, a would-be Olympic cyclist is saddled with $151,804 in medical bills from treatment at that very same health system. Black patients seeking complex treatment in US hospitals experience lower standards of care due to a discriminatory medical decision-making algorithm. Despite working multiple jobs, low-income Americans find that health insurance is still unattainable. These are stark examples of how our healthcare and insurance systems remain inaccessible and unnavigable to many despite our substantial spending on these services. Without broad policy change on these fronts, Pennsylvanians at the very least deserve a voice in their healthcare.
Our legislation would establish the Office of Healthcare Consumer Advocate to provide that voice. This office would coordinate amongst, provide assistance to, and collect data from patient assistance programs and consumer help centers to better enable healthcare consumers to access quality and affordable healthcare and health insurance. Through public education campaigns and hearings, the office would have a direct line of communication with residents most in need of help. Housed in the Attorney General’s office, it would also have the power to litigate, ensuring that justice is restored for those who have faced adverse health care and health insurance decisions.
With a broad range of perspectives, it is almost impossible for all of us to stand on the same side of a debate. One thing we can agree on, however, is that every Pennsylvanian deserves the right to life guaranteed upon our nation’s founding. This cannot occur without affordable, accessible healthcare.
Please consider supporting legislation that will ensure this right for every Pennsylvanian, regardless of their life circumstances.
Introduced as HB1828