Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pennsylvania Health Care Reform

Handing over the reins of my PAFP presidency was painless, though I almost missed the inauguration of my successor. The ceremony (which I mc'd) was to begin at 6 pm and I found myself waking up from a power nap at 5:47 still having to get into my tux and navigate 8 floors in elevators hijacked by teenage band members who acted as if they'd never seen an elevator before.

The big discussion in our house of delegates was about the competing versions of health care reform in play in Pennsylvania. SB 1085 got the most discussion, a full bore universal coverage single payer system that has all the elements to actually work, and therefore all the elements to petrify every stakeholder into opposing it. It's being pushed by a group that includes a lawyer, doctor and businessman (all with progressive leanings) and democratic sponsors in the legislature, making chances of action nearly nil. Reminds me of Star Trek:
Kirk: I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim.
Picard: You could say that.
Kirk: You know, if Spock were here, he'd say that I was an irrational, illogical human being by taking on a mission like that. Sounds like fun!
Plenty of other blog discussion on SB1085 here and here. A hearing would be nice but seems unlikely at present. Still, the primary is only a few days away and the elections are coming up in November, making for a lame duck sine die session that's already building steam.

Other legislation in play: a Maryland like "make walmart pay their fair share" plan that's pretty white bread to me. A no-brainer "don't let insurers retroactively revoke payment four years after they cut the check", not to mention a few more.

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