Pennsylvania Senate Approves Physician Malpractice Subsidy Extension
The Pennsylvania Senate onTuesday voted unanimously to approve an extension of a physician malpractice subsidythrough 2008, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. A Democratic proposal todivert part of a surplus from the malpractice reserve to pay for adult healthinsurance was rejected by the chamber. Gov. Ed Rendell (D) said he will notapprove another year of malpractice subsidy funds unless some of the surpluspays for adult health insurance (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/12).
Rendell earlier this month announced a new funding plan for his Cover All Pennsylvanians initiative that would use half ofthe revenue from the state's Health Care Provider Retention Account, which isprojected to reach $414 million by Dec. 31. The account, funded by 25 cents ofthe state's $1.35-per-pack cigarette tax, was created to offset medicalmalpractice costs for physicians and hospitals in an effort to keep doctors andspecialists in the state.
According to Rendell, fewermalpractice lawsuits and lower malpractice insurance premiums have led to asurplus in the account that the state can afford to use (Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report, 12/11). The subsidy expires on Dec. 31 (AP/PhiladelphiaInquirer, 12/12).
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