News Column

Stack, Democrats Oppose Health-Care Obstruction

June 25, 2014

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 25 -- The Pennsylvania State Senate Democrats issued the following news release on the behalf of Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Stack:

Calling it another "Republican solution starving for a problem," state Sen. Mike Stack today voted in opposition to a GOP-backed bill intended to add layers of state regulation to federal health-care "navigators."

At a meeting of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee today, Senate Bill 1268 was approved on a party-line vote of 9 to 5, with Stack and all Democratic members objecting to its intention of obstructing implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act by imposing state regulations on "navigators" and certified application counselors who try to help clients find the right heath insurance through the federal exchange.

Stack noted that more than 300,000 Pennsylvanians have signed up for health care through the exchange while state insurance department officials have testified of having received not a single complaint about the navigators or certified application counselors.

"So, we're attracting young people through the health insurance exchange. It appears to be a success and there have been no consumer complaints," Stack told the committee. "If it isn't brokewe don't need to fix it."

Stack also pointed out that a federal court in Missouri struck down a similar state obstruction of the navigators and state officials have testified that they already have the tools needed to respond to problems.

Meddling with the role played by navigators, Stack said, reeks of politics.

"It appears this is could be an attempt to block federal health care reform. It simply adds more administrative burdens on the Insurance Department and navigators," he said. "It does nothing to help people get the health insurance they need to lead productive, healthy lives."

More than 300,000 Pennsylvania residents signed up for health insurance during the 2014 enrollment period that ended March 31, Stack said. Of those, 81 percent received financial assistance toward the cost of their coverage and 30 percent, or 96,000, are in the important 18 to 34 age group.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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