NU Online News Service, Jan. 15, 2004, 5:14 p.m. EST – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, is recommending that Congress and the Bush administration offer a tax credit that would help low-income individuals, unemployed workers, small employers and low-wage workers at small employers afford health insurance.[@@]

The association has been proposing tax credits for small employers with low-wage workers since 1999, but the association says the new proposal is different because the new proposal would create a tax credit that ties the need for federal subsidies to both the cost of coverage and an individual’s income, whether the individual was buying coverage as an individual or as an employee.

Simply offering tax credits to small employers would not work as well, because many low-wage workers at small employers still could not afford their share of the premiums, the association says.