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INSURANCE COMMISSIONER EMPHASIZES CASEY ADMINISTRATION'S HEALTH CARE AGENDA

 READING, Pa., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- State Insurance Commissioner Cynthia M. Maleski said today that the Casey Administration's health care agenda has propelled Pennsylvania into a national leadership role in the reform debate.
 Maleski's remarks came during a day-long "town meeting" hosted by State Sen. Michael A. O'Pake (D-Berks), at Reading Area Community College.
 The commissioner summarized several reforms already enacted in Pennsylvania, and outlined the administration's major proposal for reform, the Pennsylvania Health Security Act, which Maleski called the cornerstone of the reform agenda.
 "The Pennsylvania Health Security Act would make health insurance coverage a basic right for all Pennsylvanians and would provide real health security for all," Maleski said.
 According to the commissioner, the Act proposes to:
 -- provide expanded, guaranteed health care security to those who have coverage, as well as to the uninsured and those who change jobs, lose their jobs or become ill or unable to work;
 -- guarantee access to health care for all;
 -- maintain consumer freedom to choose physicians;
 -- ensure fair distribution of health care services to rural and medically underserved areas of the state; and
 -- provide cost containment measures by promoting competition among networks and providers, cutting administrative costs, emphasizing preventive care and discouraging the overuse of medical services.
 Maleski also outlined the department's role in positioning Pennsylvania for a smooth transition in the national health care reform arena.
 Health care reform measures already enacted include:
 -- the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Pennsylvania's first program of free or low-cost comprehensive health insurance for uninsured children.
 -- improvements in primary care for Pennsylvanians in medically- underserved areas through initiatives for training of more primary care doctors and other practitioners and help for communities to establish primary care systems that meet local needs;
 -- the Childhood Immunization Act, which requires individual and group policies issued in Pennsylvania to include coverage for immunizations and follow-up booster shots to prevent childhood diseases;
 -- improved mammography coverage, with the minimum age requirement for group and individual health insurance policies that cover the costs of screening mammograms lowered from 50 years of age to 40;
 -- long term care legislation which provides improved protection for consumers; and
 -- a uniform health care claim form mandate, with health care professionals and consumers required to use standard health care insurance claim forms.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/5/93
 /CONTACT: Rick Schoen or Leslie Osborn of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, 717-787-3289/


CO: Pennsylvania Insurance Department ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MJ -- PH013 -- 8820 10/05/93 11:12 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 5, 1993
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