Companion To Universal Health Insurance Bill Introduced

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Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) on Wednesday introduced a companion bill (HR 6444) to Senate legislation (S 334) that would establish a universal health insurance system in the U.S., the Salt Lake Tribune reports (Canham, Salt Lake Tribune, 7/10).

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The Senate bill, sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah), would effectively replace the employer-sponsored health care system with a system in which individuals would purchase private health insurance through state-administered purchasing pools. The legislation would require all residents to obtain health insurance. Wyden in April modified the bill to allow employers to continue to provide health insurance (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 7/9). The employer provision also was added to the House measure on Wednesday.

The House bill has 19 supporters, two of whom are Republicans; the Senate legislation has 14 co-sponsors, seven of whom are Republicans. Bennett at a news conference said, "The heavy lifting is still ahead, but the fact that there are so many people here willing to participate in this gives me hope that we can get it done" (Salt Lake Tribune, 7/10).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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