Pennsylvania Republicans want to guarantee right to buy health care
HARRISBURG -- About 30 state House Republican lawmakers on Wednesday urged passage of legislation that would guarantee Pennsylvanians the right to choose health care plans, regardless of federal mandates.
"Do you want Obamacare?" said Rep. Matthew Baker, R-Tioga County, the bill's sponsor. "Do you want to pay higher taxes• Do you want less quality in heath care?"
Brett Marcy, a spokesman for House Majority Whip Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne County, called the bill "hollow political bluster."
"It seems the state House Republicans are only interested in perpetuating the right-wing propaganda of their national party," Marcy said. "The voters are tired of these lies and scare tactics, and they're tired of this kind of extremist political ideology."
Despite Republican Scott Brown's recent victory for a Massachusetts Senate seat as an opponent of federal health care, activists said they believe Congress will press ahead on the issue.
"I don't think it is dead," said Sharon Cherubin, executive director of UnitePA in Lancaster, who attended the event. "(State legislation) is a fail-safe measure. The big issue right now is, it's being mandated. It's unconstitutional."
But Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell said later that President Obama and Congress should forge ahead with a health care bill.
"I think there's a lot of misunderstanding in the public about health care," Rendell said. "We -- and I'm including myself -- haven't done a good job of explaining it."
Individual provisions are popular with the public, Rendell contended. He said the Massachusetts vote wasn't a referendum on Obama or health care and instead was a function of local politics.
Pennsylvania is one of 25 states, including Ohio and West Virginia, with legislation that would allow the state to "opt out" of federal health care mandates. In seven other states, legislators stated their intent to file such bills, said Christie Herrera, director of a task force for the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The Pennsylvania bill has been pending before the House Insurance Committee since October. Minority Policy Chairman Stan Saylor, R-York County, said he believes Democrats won't move the bill because "they are afraid to oppose Governor Rendell."
"They're our employees," said Tom Altman of Youngwood, a "tea party" activist attending the news conference. "If they've forgotten that, we're going to remind them."
"We know this is really about a takeover of one-sixth of the economy and establishing a European-style welfare state," said Rep. Curt Schroder, R-Chester County, sponsor of a companion constitutional amendment.
In response to the GOP news conference, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, a coalition of 50 organizations, issued a statement saying health care overhaul is needed to rein in unsustainable costs and give hardworking Pennsylvanians greater freedom to care for their families and themselves.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Baseball America names Pirates as organization of the year
- Wilkinsburg mom pleads guilty to child endangerment, will testify against boyfriend
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Kane to announce plans for next chapter in porn email saga
- LCB offers free holiday shipping to state stores
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- New Florence man charged with killing police officer