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Pediatrician makes a case for an easy-to-navigate health insurance exchange in Pennsylvania

January 10, 2013

Check out this on-target post by  Dr. Robert Cicco in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette. This pediatrician lays out in simple terms the value of a health exchange for children with physical and behavioral needs.

  • As a pediatrician for more than 30 years, I’ve devoted my life to children’s health care, and I’ve seen how health insurance can be a vital resource in a child’s growth and development.

    Unfortunately, I’m also familiar with how a lack of insurance can keep kids from a doctor or hospital and allow preventable medical issues to go undiagnosed and untreated — often becoming more severe and more costly to treat as a result.

    Pennsylvania is home to more than 150,000 children who lack health insurance, including more than 5,500 in Allegheny County and about 16,000 in a 10-county region of southwestern Pennsylvania. These are troubling statistics that we can improve by creating a robust, high-quality health insurance exchange for Pennsylvania.

    The exchange, a requirement of the federal Affordable Care Act, is a user-friendly online marketplace where consumers can shop for health insurance, including researching and comparing coverage options and costs. It can help parents easily find and purchase affordable health insurance for their families.

    Gov. Tom Corbett’s recent announcement that Pennsylvania will not set up a state-run exchange is an unfortunate setback for uninsured children and families, but Pennsylvania fortunately still can have a voice in crucial decisions affecting how a federally run exchange would operate in the commonwealth to help uninsured children obtain health insurance coverage. Continue reading here.

  • Dr. Robert Cicco is a pediatrician and neonatologist at West Penn Allegheny Hospital and a former president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He also serves on the board of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children.
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