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STAGGERS: 'HEALTH CARE MATTER OF PRIORITIES'; SELECT COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON CHRONICALLY ILL AND UNINSURED

 STAGGERS: 'HEALTH CARE MATTER OF PRIORITIES';
 SELECT COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON CHRONICALLY ILL AND UNINSURED
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Rep. Harley Staggers (D-W.Va.) today said that politicians should be honest and admit that health care boils down to a matter of priorities.
 A member of a House select committee, which held a hearing on health care, Staggers said that the time has passed for talk and tinkering with the current system.
 "Far too many working families are a layoff or an illness away from losing their health care coverage," said Staggers. "Three-hundred-thousand West Virginians have no insurance. As a nation, we have the resources to address this crisis. What's missing is the political will to say 'health care is a priority. Let's put our resources to work to address the crisis.'"
 U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Pa.), who testified before the select committee, said he agreed with Staggers that health care must be made a priority.
 "As Pennsylvanians proved last November, Americans are ahead of the administration on the issue of national health care," said Wofford. "Inflated and misleading threats by the administration of new taxes and government bureaucracy don't strike much fear in the millions of families who are already struggling to cope with complicated forms and endless, rising bills of our present employer-based private health insurance system."
 Staggers said that extremely important to West Virginia is a national health care plan that includes flexibility.
 "As we work to put all Americans under a single health care umbrella, we must not forget to give West Virginia and other states the flexibility needed to make the program work. Any workable plan must ensure accessibility, promote prevention, provide long-term care, and strengthen alternative care, such as home care."
 Staggers said the administration's proposed health care plan will delight the insurance industry, but does little to address the needs of working families and the uninsured.
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 /CONTACT: Jim Watkins of Rep. Harley Staggers' Office, 202-225-4331/ CO: U.S. Rep. Harley Staggers ST: West Virginia IN: HEA SU:


DM -- PG009 -- 7830 02/07/92 13:48 EST
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Date:Feb 7, 1992
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