Ten-Step Proposal To Expand Access To Health Care, Insurance

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Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, on Thursday proposed legislation (S 1783) that includes 10 steps intended to expand access to health care providers and insurance, CQ HealthBeat reports.

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Enziin a release said, "This 10-step proposal reflects ideas and conceptsfrom a host of proposals already introduced -- it encapsulates the bestof the best ideas and puts forward new, innovative approaches. Thehallmark of this proposal is to provide more options, more choices andmore control to every American."

Enzi's steps include the following:

  • Eliminate unequal tax treatment of health insurance for all U.S. residents;
  • Implement a standard tax deduction to increase affordable health insurance options for working families;
  • Implementa refundable, advanceable and assignable tax-based subsidy to makeaffordable health insurance available to low-income U.S. residents;
  • Provideinterstate pooling of health insurance and increase accessibility forsmall-business owners and members of associations and unions;
  • Expandthe portability provisions of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act by combining individual and group markets forenhanced insurance security portability as people change jobs;
  • Place greater emphasis on preventive benefits;
  • Allowbeneficiaries to convert the value of Medicaid and SCHIP benefits intoprivate health insurance to increase personal control over coverage;
  • Coordinate health information technology to increase health care delivery;
  • Increaseaccess to primary care in rural areas, especially for seniors, byhelping future providers and nurses pay for their education; and
  • Support state-based solutions to decrease health care costs and restore reliability in the medical justice system (Phillips, CQ HealthBeat, 7/13).

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Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily Health Policy Report, search the archives, andsign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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