NBG To Overhaul US Health Care System

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The National Business Group on Health, a not-for-profit association ofnearly 300 large employers, on Wednesday released a set of 20 conditions thatwould need to be met to establish a universal health coverage system in the U.S., DowJones reports. According to NBGH, all U.S. residents should be requiredto purchase insurance for themselves and their children on a tax-advantagedbasis. Under the plan, individuals who purchase insurance from the market wouldreceive the same tax advantage as employees who purchase insurance throughtheir employer, allowing individuals to write off their insurance benefits fortax purposes and the money spent not counting as taxable income.

However, businesses should not be required to offer health coverage to workersor to help workers pay for coverage, according to NBGH. Employer mandates are"very harmful to working families and our economy because it will onlyforce employers to eliminate jobs, move more jobs offshore, stunt future jobgrowth or raise consumer prices," NBGH President Helen Darling said.

In addition, NBGH said that state and federal governments should work withinsurers and employers to develop health plans that are affordable and thatmeet the medical needs of families. Darling said, "Achieving successfulhealth reform ... is a tremendous challenge that will require individuals,health care providers, insurers, employers and governments at all levels totake on shared responsibility. No one group can or should bear fullresponsibility" (Knight, Dow Jones, 1/30).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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