March 04-- Mar. 4--Democrat Bridget Malloy Kosierowski said Monday she will make expanding health insurance a top priority if she's elected 114th state House District representative in the March 12 special election.
Kosierowski, 46, a registered nurse from Waverly Twp., said she would work to preserve the state's children's health insurance program and protections against charging people higher insurance premiums for pre-existing conditions. She would also work to keep down prescription drug costs and expand Medicaid access, she said.
In a meeting with the Times-Tribune editorial board, she said she has no specific plans for how to shape state policy to accomplish these goals.
"I guess when I do get to the legislature, I do get to Harrisburg, that's going to be a big puzzle for me to try to find out how I could help the people access insurance that's affordable," Kosierowski said.
She favors requiring health-care providers to accept any form of health insurance.
"I think it's alienated long-term patients (of doctors)," Kosierowski said.
Kosierowski said she hopes to take steps to reduce school property taxes through a combination of closing a loophole that allows multi-state companies shift revenues in Pennsylvania to states with lower incomes taxes, imposing a natural gas extraction tax and focusing tax cuts on people's primary homes.
"I don't think you can eliminate them (school property taxes)," she said. "We can reduce property taxes with $8 billion or $9 billion."
On education, she wants to expand training at career technology centers across the state and help public schools by requiring charter schools to follow the same financial guidelines as public schools.
She favors raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, but thinks Gov. Tom Wolf's proposal to push the $7.25-an-hour wage to $12 as of July 1 is too large. She favors raising the wage to $10 an hour first, then gradually to $15 an hour.
Kosierowski faces Republican Frank Scavo, the Old Forge School board president and a real estate investor, in the special election to replace the late state Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich for the rest of his term, which expires Nov. 30, 2020.
The 114th consists of the city of Carbondale, Waverly, Fell, Glenburn, Greenfield, Newton, North Abington, Ransom, Carbondale, and Scott townships and Clarks Summit, Dickson City, Jermyn, Mayfield, Moosic, Old Forge, Taylor and Vandling boroughs. The salary for state legislators this year is $88,610.42.