One of our partners, Put People First! Pennsylvania (PPF-PA), is leading a campaign to establish a new state office, a Public Healthcare Advocate, to rebalance power in the health care system and protect the health care rights of everyday people. This report, co-published with PPF-PA, arises from three years of statewide organizing by Put People First! PA. It draws on PPF-PA members’ stories and extensive research to explain why Pennsylvania needs a Public Healthcare Advocate, and lays out key policy principles to make sure that the Office of the Advocate is effective at meeting residents’ needs; politically independent from industry capture; and accountable to communities, health care workers and the public.
This report supports HB 1828, a bill driven by PPF-PA to create a Public Healthcare Advocate in Pennsylvania, but this is a policy that could be widely adopted in other states as well. In fact, about a dozen states already have some version of a public healthcare advocate, with particularly strong models in Connecticut and Nevada.