State Rep. Pashinski says event will eliminate misconceptions about law

Last updated: October 09. 2013 11:39PM - 1169 Views
BILL O’BOYLE boboyle@timesleader.com

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Today’s hearing

• At Wilkes University, Miller Conference Room, 84 W. South St.

10 a.m.: Opening remarks

10:10 a.m.: Dr. Steven Pierdon, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Geisinger Northeast

10:40 a.m.: Panel of Consumers: Athena Smith Ford, advocacy director, Pennsylvania Health Access Network; Rose Yanko, uninsured homecare worker

11:30 a.m.: Closing remarks

WILKES-BARRE —State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski said he wants today’s state House hearing on the Affordable Care Act to present the facts and ensure people understand what the new legislation is all about.

The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a public hearing today on the federal Affordable Care Act’s roll-out 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Wilkes University in the Miller Conference Room, 84 W. South St.

Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, asked for the hearing and will serve as co-chairman. The hearing will look at the recent opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace, where the uninsured can learn about and purchase health coverage, as well as other issues related to the landmark health care law, often called Obamacare.

“The focus of today’s hearing will be on better health care delivery,” Pashinski said. “The objective is to produce healthier and measurable outcomes and to provide less costly preventive care.”

Pashinski said there will be discussion on health care access and choice in the private insurance market “so we can provide the essential health benefits that people need.”

He said he wanted to bring in people from the health care industry to provide accurate information and eliminate any misconceptions that may be out there.

‘We really want to clarify what the Affordable Care Act is about,” he said.

House Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, will conduct the hearing.

Sturla recently said for the law to be effective, people need to understand it and how the ACA will impact them. He and other legislators have said “politics” have surrounded the Affordable Care Act, leaving many people frustrated and confused.

Sturla and the House Democratic Policy Committee were in Scranton on Wednesday to hear from labor groups and local officials at a public hearing at Marywood University regarding the state of jobs and the economy in Pennsylvania. The meeting looked at unemployment and wages in northeastern Pennsylvania and efforts to improve the economy and attract new businesses.

The committee criticized the Corbett administration, citing “Pennsylvania’s wavering unemployment rate over the past two years.” Sturla’s committee blamed the Corbett administration’s policy of “offering big business tax giveaways while cutting funding for schools, social services and other programs our residents depend on.”

The governor’s office repeatedly has defended its record and has taken issue with the Democratic criticism.

Sturla said the commonwealth has not been competitive with the nation on the road to economic recovery.

“Northeast Pennsylvania, and specifically Lackawanna County, is over-represented on the unemployment rolls of our state,” said Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Scranton, said. “We need to get serious about implementing ways to tackle chronic unemployment and underemployment. We need to look at opportunities to attract new employers and ensure that our work force is well-trained and competitive in the increasing global marketplace.”

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