Publisher of Germantown Newspapers, Jim Foster has long watched health care reform talks nationally and in the state of Pennsylvania. About three years ago, Foster wrote a four-part series on the challenges of health care coverage in Pennsylvania and specifically in Philadelphia.
Germantown has a high number of senior citizens and there are many who suffer from chronic conditions and who have special needs. Because of this, health care reform is particularly important to the people residing in the area.
Foster sees flaws in the recently passed health care reform law, however. During his reporting on health care a few years back, he became knowledgeable on the issues and as a result deems certain points with more importance. The new law leaves out many of the problems he encountered through his reporting like the ability to choose a health care provider regardless of what state you live in.
Foster also believes the local and state governments should have been more proactive five years ago. He thinks the city politicians should have been campaigning in Harrisburg and members of the state government should have gone to Washington on health care issues years ago so reform could be in a better state today.
For now he thinks that local government leaders need to be active in the community but it’s up to the state leaders to create the major changes needed. “The laws have to be changed at the state level but the local political structure has to make the case to the citizens it represents that they’re really focused on this,” he said.
Lauren Herman and Bryant Maddrick, Group 11, Germantown