2009-05-14 / Local & State

Local Residents Urge Changes In Health Care System

Commissioners presented with info on Family and Business Health Care Security Act Commissioners
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Commissioners presented with info on Family and Business Health Care Security Act

As a follow-up to a series of meetings in Harrisburg with Rep. Dick Hess and Sen. John Eichelberger, a group of concerned Fulton County residents tried to garner support from the Fulton County Commissioners this week on the Family and Business Health Care Security Act.

Currently working its way through the state Legislature in the form of Senate Bill 400 and House Bill 1660, McConnellsburg area residents Jack and Kathie Hendricks reported their presentation on the act to the commissioners is part of a statewide program to urge statewide adoption of publicly funded and privately provided health care.

The Fulton County portion of the series of meetings and events across the state is being referred to as "Taking on the Big Boys, Taking Back Our Health Care System." The Hendricks family stated the campaign process got under way in Erie and will eventually, over a several month period, result in the distribution of health-care savings data on all 67 counties.

According to the Hendricks, available data shows Fulton County will save in taxes and all Pennsylvania citizens will have comprehensive health care under current proposed legislation. Fulton County's data, along with similar data from other counties, can be found at the Web site Healthcare4allPA.org.

"Fulton County taxpayers could save $1.5 million this year and $2.3 million next year if proposed legislation is enacted in the Pennsylvania Legislature in Harrisburg. Currently, Fulton County's three school districts and county government spend almost 20 percent of their total payroll for employee health care insurance. Tax savings for many households would range from $500 to $1,000 annually," said the Hendricks in their public announcement.

"If the Family and Business Health Care Security Act passes, only 10 percent of payroll would go into a single payer fund. That's about half the current amount. This fund, in turn, would pay the health-care expenses of not only these employees and their families, but all residents of Fulton County and Pennsylvania statewide," they concluded.

In matters addressed last Tuesday, the commissioner gave a final nod to adopting the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility of 1982 resolution. The resolution gives authorization to the Fulton Industrial Development Authority (FIDA) to approve the issuance of tax-exempt obligations to finance a capital project at Fulton County Medical Center. The decision to pass the resolution was made following a conference call with FIDA Vice Chair Donald Bard.

Planning and Mapping Director Mary K. Seville reviewed the status of the Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program with the commissioners as well as provided an update on the recent PennDOT Outreach meeting.

Solicitor Stanley Kerlin discussed ongoing legal issues with the commissioners, who also attended a hearing at the office of Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott.

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