Lack of health coverage puts women, newborns at risk

Pennsylvania women without health insurance or health coverage of any kind give birth to an estimated 6,650 children annually. 

Nearly 268,000 Pennsylvania women of childbearing age (19-44) were uninsured last year, according to the 2008 Pennsylvania Health Insurance Survey. The estimate of 16,600 births is based on the fertility rate of 62 births per thousand Pennsylvania women.

Federal health reform on front burner in Congress

Congressional leaders are giving every indication they are dead serious about enacting conprehensive health reform later this year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an April 27 letter to the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, made his intentions very clear: "Make no mistake - we are determined to reform health care this year. Our strong preference is to do so by working alongside you and your caucus. The health of our citizens and our economy are at stake; neither will be able to recover if we do not."

Skimping on health care

The economic recession is causing many to skimp on routine, preventive health care. Among diabetics, the trend is especially worrisome as cutting back on care can be life-threatening.

Retirees need $240,000 to cover medical costs

According to a study by Fidelity Investments, a couple retiring this year would need $240,000 to cover their medical expenses, a 6.7 percent increase from last year’s cost and a 50 percent increase over the past seven years, reports the Associated Press.

The study assumes that the 65-year-old couple is covered only by Medicare and has a life expectancy of 17 years for the man and 20 years for the woman, according to the article. Costs include deductibles, co-payments and services not covered by Medicare.

PHAN urges Congress to move on health reform

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), joined by 37 other organizations, is urging Congress forward on health reform.

In letters sent April 7 to all 21 members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delgation, PHAN conveyed its support for President Obama’s plan “to allocate $634 billion over ten years for health system reform”.