Proposal To Expand Access to Health Insurance Coverage to Every American

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Health Insurance for the Uninsured

More than 40 million uninsured Americans will have access to affordable health insurance coverage under a comprehensive new set of targeted policy proposals released today by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

The plan would expand eligibility for public programs, enable all consumers to purchase health insurance with pre-tax dollars, provide financial assistance to help working families afford coverage, and encourage states to develop and implement access proposals.

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"The leaders of the nation's health insurers are united in a strong belief that every American should have access to health care coverage," said J. Grover Thomas Jr., Chairman, Trustmark Mutual Holding Company; and Chairman, AHIP Board of Directors. "This bold program would expand coverage to tens of millions within a framework that is fiscally sound and promotes individual responsibility."

The plan is designed to expand access to health insurance coverage to all children within three years and 95 percent of adults within 10 years. AHIP estimates that full implementation of this proposal would cost the federal government approximately $300 billion over a 10-year period.

"The access crisis causes millions of Americans to forgo the preventive care and treatment for chronic illness that they need," said George Halvorson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente; Chairman-elect, AHIP Board of Directors. "By ensuring everyone has access to coverage, we can make families more secure, workers more productive and, ultimately, make this a healthier nation."

The AHIP plan calls for enactment of federal legislation that provides significant financial incentives to states and makes changes to federal tax policy to make health coverage more affordable. Key elements of the AHIP plan include:

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