The American Prospect on Put People First! PA’s Public Advocate Campaign


The American Prospect reported on our campaign with Put People First! Pennsylvania to win a Public Healthcare Advocate to defend the health care rights of people across the state:

In Pennsylvania, activists with Put People First! Pennsylvania and Partners for Dignity and Rights have been pushing for a new Office of the Public Healthcare Advocate, which grew out of a campaign they’d been waging for universal health care. Through that work, they were able to see more clearly how difficult it was for ordinary individuals to not only access care but get help with problems. “Our members and their communities were just consistently being denied health care, and I think just realized that some of these agencies have been effectively captured by the industries they’re supposed to regulate,” said Ben Palmquist, a program director with Partners for Dignity and Rights. “From that experience, Put People First! developed this vision, to create a single point of access for people having trouble in our fragmented health care system.” A bill to establish the office was introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature last year.

Palmquist sees their idea as complementary to the statewide public advocate being proposed in Maryland. “If the goals are to rebalance power and introduce more accountability, then ideally we’d extend this to the private sector,” he said.

Read the full article at The American Prospect, which also discusses legislation in Maryland proposing a statewide public advocate. Find out more about Put People’s First! Pennsylvania’s vision for the Public Healthcare Advocate on their website and in our joint report.