Healthcare and Women’s Choice

Women's health and reproductive rights must be protected.

Dan Frankel has been one of the fiercest champions for women’s reproductive rights and health care in the legislature for two decades. He organized the Women’s Health Caucus in the mid-2000s to help legislators quickly respond to attacks on women’s health care including abortion rights and access to family planning. Dissatisfied with always being on the defensive, he worked with advocacy organizations to craft a pro-active package of bills to advance women’s health and equality in the Commonwealth, the Agenda for Women’s Health.

As the Democratic chairman of the Health Committee, Rep. Frankel is fighting for access to healthcare, reproductive rights and evidence-based medicine. 

In the UPMC-Highmark conflict, Frankel was unafraid to take a strong stand on behalf of consumers and community members, supporting broad access to hospitals as community institutions and contracts that hold down health care costs for all of us.

Some of his health care legislation includes:

  • a measure that would establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, which would determine whether certain drugs pose affordability burdens and set limits on the amount that pharmacies, providers, patients, health plans, and wholesalers pay for necessary drugs. It would also allow for importation to be utilized when shortages of medically necessary drugs occur.
  • a bill that would protect health care providers from being forced by legislators to provide false information to their patients or to withhold information from them. As recently as in 2019, the PA House of Representatives passed legislation dictating conversations between pregnant women and their doctors, and establishing prohibitions on medical decision-making based on fetal diagnosis. 
  • a bill that would require parents seeking a religious or philosophical exemption to school vaccine requirements to get an annual medical consultation to understand the existing threats to children’s health from communicable diseases, and to get briefed on potentials for school exclusion and quarantine, in the case of outbreaks. Vaccines only work if the vast majority of those can get them do so. In order to protect our most vulnerable we should ensure that those who are opting out understand the risks. 

We know with certainty that the quality of care goes down as the health care industry consolidates — this is exactly when the government should be stepping in to protect consumers. My legislative package would block hospitals that are affiliated with insurance companies from denying care in order to get the competitive advantage. It would also ensure that they would not be able to subsidize their own insurance plans – selling them cheaper – by having their hospital system charge their competitors more than they charge themselves.