TribLIVE

| State

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pennsylvania Republicans want to guarantee right to buy health care

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
 

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Pennsylvania

  1. 2001 same-sex union recognized despite partner’s death
  2. Evidence for charge not found in Pa. case
  3. Technology races ahead of Pennsylvania wiretap law
  4. Medical pot has advocate in Pennsylvania House
  5. Philly’s new vibrancy lures crowds
  6. Federal funds available to reduce number of minority youths in juvenile justice system
  7. Va. trucker hit  Mega Millions jackpot in Pa.
  8. Pennsylvania Senator Casey pushes for railroad bridge inspectors
  9. Lawrence power plant being converted to gas from coal