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|Hare Talks Health Care Reform in Galesburg
|The Galesburg area's representative in the U-S House has a better handle on the frustrations and concerns local residents have concerning America's health care system.
17th District Congressman Phil Hare hosted a health care reform listening session Wednesday in Galesburg. The Rock Island Democrat urged the 40 people who turned out to join him in supporting efforts by Congress to enact comprehensive health care reform this year. Hare says he expects the House to consider legislation by the end of July, and he asked his constituents to tell him what they do and don't want in a health care bill.
Hare says the current health care system is not working, in large part because skyrocketing insurance premiums are taking a huge toll working families.
"Health care costs are rising, now this is what the President has put out, faster than wages. Between 2000 and 2007, average health care premiums rose from $6,772 to $12,075, which is an increase of more than 78 percent. Wages rose about 15 percent during that same period of time, so clearly you can see we've got a big gap we're trying to close."
Hare also says the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance for a family will reach $24,000 by 2016 if no action is taken to halt the prices, and individual coverage will rise to nearly $8,300, or an 84 percent increase over 2008 premium levels. He called the situation a huge funding problem.
Hare says a bill that House lawmakers are looking at now would set up a public plan that would be administered by the federal government to help cover the 47-million Americans who don't have health insurance. People covered by employer-provided insurance would not be affected, while uninsured workers could get coverage and pay for it based on their earnings.
Ten people shared their concerns with Hare at the session - discussing issues that ranged from slow government reimbursement payments for health care-related services to a lack of advocacy for consumers.
Congressman Phil Hare (D-Rock Island) discusses health care reform with about 40 people who attended a listening session Tuesday at Midwest Bank of Western Illinois on North Seminary Street in Galesburg
Jim Jacobs of Galesburg discusses health care reform during a question and answer session with Congressman Phil Hare Tuesday in Galesburg
Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza participates in a health care reform listening session held by Congressman Phil Hare
(WGIL news story and photos by Mike Perry)
|05 27 09 by Newsroom
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