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Week of 4.18.08

Health Care Meltdown: Looking for Solutions

As the political campaigns gear up for Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary, the candidates are trumpeting positions on one of the state's - and the country's - thorniest and most pressing issues: health care reform.

Health care costs in the Keystone State are 11 percent higher than the national average and rising twice as fast as the average wage. The state legislature is debating a plan backed by Governor Ed Rendell to provide benefits to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, but there's disagreement over who's going to foot the bill.

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This week NOW gets insight on the problem and its proposed solution from a wide range of Pennsylvanians, including small business owners, legislators, a suburban family, and a packaged dessert company headquartered in Philadelphia that employs over 800 people. But the problem is bigger than Pennsylvania. With 47 million Americans uninsured and so many feeling the pinch of soaring coverage costs, can this Philadelphia experiment make a difference in the national crisis?

Related Links:

Employee Benefit Research Institute

The Kaiser Family Foundation

Pennsylvania House of Representatives: Healthcare Initiative