Jul 26 2007
Plan would provide access to health insurance for the uninsured, lower costs for all, and increase personal control of health care
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, five Republican Senators introduced the “Every American Insured Health Act” that would provide all Americans – regardless of age, income or employer – with access to affordable, high-quality health insurance through the free market. The bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Oklahoma), a practicing physician, Mel Martinez (R-Florida), and Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina). The plan provides an avenue to ensure all Americans have health care coverage thereby reducing the number of uninsured Americans and lowering health care costs for all citizens. The proposal gives every American the right and resources to purchase health care in the free market and encourages individuals to take control of their own health.
“One of my greatest fears is that continuing high health care costs will force companies to dump their employee health care plans and millions of Americans and their families will be left without health care insurance. We must prevent this dangerous scenario by giving individuals control over their health care so they do not have to rely on their employers or the government for their health care. The ‘Every American Insured Health Act’ does just that,” Burr said. “Personal freedom means owning your own health care without the fear of losing your job, your employer taking your insurance away, or being forced into a government-run health care plan. We encourage all Americans to own their own homes, so why don’t we encourage people to own their own health care?” Burr added.
“This plan would ensure every American has access to affordable, quality health insurance through the free market. Under this plan, the millions of American who are currently uninsured would have access to coverage in the free market. The ‘Every American Insured Health Act’ provides every American with a refundable, advanceable flat tax credit of $2,160 per individual and $5,400 per family that gives them the freedom to choose the health care plan that best meets their needs. The plan is budget neutral and puts an end to unfair discrimination in the IRS tax code that only benefits health coverage offered by employers and that disproportionately subsidizes Americans with more costly health plans and with higher incomes,” Burr said
“The plan also improves health insurance affordability in state marketplaces by turning patients into shoppers and giving them buying power. As millions of uninsured Americans purchase coverage for the first time, health care costs for all Americans will decline. The ‘Every American Insured Health Act’ also creates the pathway for statewide insurance pools to reduce costs and help high risk individuals access affordable coverage,” Burr added.
“I believe the concept we’re introducing with this legislation should be at the center of a meaningful debate on true, broad health care and tax reform,” Corker said. “It provides all individuals access to health insurance that is both affordable and portable. It is a stepping stone to what I believe is the right direction for our country – a health care system that provides individuals the ability to purchase health insurance, that is deeply rooted in the private market, and is accessible to all Americans. Hard working families in Tennessee and across our country are without health care coverage because it is simply too expensive, and we have a moral obligation to address this issue now. The concept we’re introducing offers one way of addressing a complex problem that deserves vigorous debate in the U.S. Senate.”
“It’s time for a major debate on health care insurance. Not enough people have access to affordable healthcare and the Congress has not done enough about this crisis. The bill we’re introducing today opens the debate on making health insurance more affordable and accessible to all Americans,” Martinez said. “Our aim is to remove inequities in our tax laws and make tax relief for health insurance available to everyone. This reform creates a free market for healthcare and empowers people with the right to choose their own plans. Giving Floridians and all Americans the peace of mind that healthcare is accessible and affordable will be an incredible breakthrough.”
“As a practicing physician, I have seen the inequities of our health care system firsthand. The vast majority of those inequities have been created by third-parties — government and health insurance bureaucrats, and politicians. This plan breaks that cycle by giving patients the right to choose their own plan, their own doctor and their own treatment,” Dr. Coburn said.
“Supporters of government-run, bureaucratic controlled health care have long advocated using an incremental approach to push all Americans into socialized medicine, beginning with children,” Dr. Coburn added. “For example, the proposed SCHIP expansion is a clarion call for government-run, bureaucrat controlled health care. Rather than forcing our children to board a sinking ship, we can allow all Americans to buy their own boat. Our flat tax credit for health care gives every American the freedom to choose the health care plan that works best for them, not the plan that works best for their employer, a government bureaucrat or a politician in Washington,” Dr. Coburn said.
Key provisions of the “Every American Insured Health Act”:
- Give every American the resources and the right to purchase health care in a free market
- End the tax code discrimination against those who cannot get insurance through their employer by giving a flat tax break to every American
- Encourage individuals to take control and become smart about their health insurance
- Eliminate the current cost shift in the health care market that drives up costs for everyone
- Ensure peace of mind about affordable, high-quality health insurance for all Americans