The Bush Health Care Reform Proposal

Good for the Country, Good for States, Says CAHI

Jan 24, 2007, 00:00 ET from Council for Affordable Health Insurance

    ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night in his
 State of the Union Address, President Bush took a bold and innovative step
 toward creating tax equity, calling for an end to the employee tax
 exclusion for health insurance and replacing it with a standard tax
     Under the current system, taxpayers subsidize employer-provided health
 insurance, with the biggest subsidies going to the richest health insurance
 policies. Meanwhile, workers whose employers don't provide health insurance
 - - usually lower-income employees who can least afford it -- get no tax
 break at all. The president's plan would end that disparity.
     "Economists have been claiming for years that we need to change the
 system," said Dr. Merrill Matthews, director of the Council for Affordable
 Health Insurance. "Only President Bush has been willing to take that step."
     Dr. Matthews continued, "We live in a 21st century information economy
 with a dynamic and mobile workforce. But health insurance has been trapped
 in a 20th century industrial economy model. This step will help health
 insurance and the economy grow to meet their potential."
     In addition, the president plans to create his Affordable Choices
 Initiative to help states provide basic private health insurance at an
 affordable price, and to move to a system where Americans can "own" their
 health plan. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance has a number of
 resources available on our website to guide policymakers on how to do just
      -- "Health Insurance Mandates in the States" identifies every state
         mandate in the country -- all 1,843 of them -- and estimates how much
         cost they add to a health insurance policy.
      -- "State Health Insurance Index" assesses each state's health insurance
         environment.  Which states do the best job of ensuring people have
         access to a wide range of affordable health insurance options?  This
         publication identifies them and explains why.
      -- "State Legislators' Guide to Health Insurance Solutions" provides a
         short explanation of some of the most important state health insurance
         issues and what state legislators can do to solve those problems.
     Founded in 1992, CAHI is a non-profit research and advocacy association
 whose mission is to develop and promote free market solutions to America's
 health care challenges. CAHI's membership includes health insurance
 companies (active in the individual, small group, HSA and senior markets),
 small businesses, physicians, actuaries and insurance brokers.

SOURCE Council for Affordable Health Insurance