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07/13/2024 08:57 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=39436
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 23, 2023 11:40 AM
From: Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski
To: All House members
Subject: Office of Health Care Consumer Advocate
 

After sustaining injuries at an event hosted by a local health system, a would-be Olympic cyclist was saddled with $151,804 in medical bills from treatment at that very same health system. Black patients seeking complex treatment in U.S. 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 Health Care 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 to live stress-free, healthy lives. This cannot occur without affordable, accessible healthcare.
 
Please consider supporting legislation that will ensure the right to quality healthcare for every Pennsylvanian, regardless of their life circumstances.