Pennsylvania a key to national health reform

The Keystone State will live up to its name in 2009 as national health reform is debated in Washington.

"Your work here in Pennsylvania with Senator Specter over the next several months will be very important," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA and a recent participant in the White House Summit on Health Care.  "Your Senator Specter will cast a key vote on national health reform."

U.S. Rep. Schwartz hopeful about health system reform

Allyson Schwartz, the 3-term member of Congress who represents a bit of Philadelphia and a big junk of Montgomery County, says that 2009 may be the year for fundamental reform of our national health system.

Do we need health insurance to get health care?

Within the Pennsylvania General Assembly, there are members who seem to think health insurance is unnecessary.  "We're concerned about improving access to health care," they say.  "Getting everyone insured is unnecessary." 

Health savings accounts & high deductible health plans analyzed

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) have received a lot of attention in recent years from policymakers trying to make health care more affordable.

HSAs provide a generous tax incentive for people who save money for medical costs.  The reason for creating this incentive is to give consumers a financial stake in the medical services they purchase.  By making consumers more cost-conscious, it is hoped the medical marketplace will become more price-sensitive and systemwide costs will moderate.

IRS report focuses on business practices of tax-exempt hospitals

A recent report from the Internal Revenue Service includes disturbing findings about nonprofit hospitals.

Over half (58 percent) reported spending 5 percent or less of their revenues on activities that provided general "community benefit".  Most of the community benefit (60 percent) was contributed by only 9 percent of the nonprofit hospitals.