The PA Rescue Plan Invests in Technology and a Healthier Future

Tim Briggs and Steve Malagari(left) State Rep. Tim Briggs, who represents the 149th District in Montgomery County and is co-chair of the Life Sciences Caucus; (right) Rep. Steve Malagari, who represents the 53rd District in Montgomery County
Op-Ed by State Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montgomery) and State Rep. Steve Malagari (D-Montgomery)

Pennsylvania innovation and invention built America. American democracy was invented in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania coal powered the Industrial Revolution. Pennsylvania steel connected a nation with rails and bridges. The first supercomputer made its first calculations in the Keystone State. The vaccine that cut polio infections by 99% was created and tested in Pittsburgh.

When we invest in Pennsylvanian minds and work ethic, the entire world benefits. That is why House Democrats want to make sure federal funding intended to help us recover from the terrible impact of COVID-19 does more than just get us back to where we were – we want to recover, restore and reimagine a better future for everyone.

Our Pennsylvania Rescue Plan invests in technology, including making sure the commonwealth grows our already robust biotechnology research industry into a global leader.

More than 80% of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies already have facilities here in Pennsylvania. They recognize our world-class colleges and universities, our unmatched location for dependable logistics, and our workforce with people ready to get the job done to help their communities and help create a better world.

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Just like scientific research itself, we cannot afford to pat ourselves on the back and relax. We need to keep innovating, keep creating, and keep investing in making sure we are prepared to develop the next generation of medicine, science and research – now, more than ever, when we are seeing the incredible, world-saving success of the COVID-19 vaccines.

When – not if – the next global pandemic arises, we want to be sure Pennsylvania technology stands between the virus and the people. We want to be sure lives and livelihoods are saved.

By investing $75 million in partnerships with biotechnology companies looking to expand here or break new ground and move here, we are investing in high-tech, high-wage jobs that have an incredible multiplier effect on a region. The rising tide lifts all boats as those workers shop at local stores, buy homes and reinvest those dollars back into the community.

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Our plan doesn’t stop investing in the future of health care at the laboratory door.

The PA Rescue Plan also includes helping pay for the college and job training of the people who will be doing the .

The PA Rescue Plan invests in electronic medical records, so you don’t spend so much time sitting on an uncomfortable waiting room chair filling out forms at every doctor’s office – and makes sure every doctor you see knows your health history. But it’s about more than convenience. It’s about saving lives, because those accurate, consistent records prevent medical errors and potentially dangerous drug interactions.

The PA Rescue Plan invests in expanding access to telehealth for providers and for patients. When we are all vaccinated, and we are back to normal, people will still want the option of visiting their primary care providers virtually to save time and save money – and spend less time in those tiny rooms on the exam table shivering under a gown wondering when the doctor is going to show up. Our plan not only makes sure you have access, but it also improves the speed of internet connections everywhere.

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We are not planning for a return to normal. We are planning to make normal better. We hope you will contact your local lawmaker and tell them to stand with us to invest in Pennsylvania innovation – for jobs, for communities and to help the Keystone State save the world again.

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