Congress Must Keep Tabs on Pennsylvania Reform Efforts
"Beltway Republicans ought to take note" of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's efforts to push his "Prescription for Pennsylvania" health care package through the state Legislature "as the 2008 health care debate gears up," a Wall Street Journal editorial states.
In opposing the package, which has been "sliced into at least 47 pieces of legislation" that will be considered in the fall, Republican state lawmakers "pointed out that Mr. Rendell's plan did nothing to address such cost increasers as medical liability or mandated insurance benefits," the editorial states, adding that Rendell's package probably would "make the problem worse with regulations like guaranteed issue (so wait until you're sick to buy insurance) and premium price controls."
In addition, "the potential $1.9 billion per year that the plan would cost" small businesses and self-employed individuals "drained away much of its Democratic support," the editorial states.
The Journal writes, Rendell "was re-elected in 2006 with 60% of the vote, so the blockade of his plan is no small achievement," adding, "As for the Democrats, a better way to attain 'universal' coverage would be to stop meddling in the insurance market and thus making it more expensive for everyone" (Wall Street Journal, 7/13).