A Senate Republican task force has released a health care reform plan that it says will save $137 billion annually in health care costs while extending insurance coverage to up to 25 million Americans.
The proposal, which was outlined at a press briefing, brings together into one package many health care reform proposals that Republicans have supported for several years.
These include expanding health insurance tax credits and medical liability reform.
Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., says he hopes the task force recommendations will serve as a blueprint for decisive action on health care both this year and for the next Congressional session.
While the United States has the best health care in the world, he says, a “perfect storm” of conditions have combined to push health care prices beyond the reach of many Americans.
“There is no silver bullet solution to this complex array of challenges,” Gregg says.
“Republicans have successfully passed bills throughout the 108th Congress that have and will make health care more accessible, affordable, efficient and consumer-friendly,” he says. “But we are not satisfied.”
The task force proposes to expand the availability of health insurance through a combination of initiatives targeted at specific groups.
For low income people without access to insurance, the task force would provide new tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of health insurance.
In addition, the plan would preempt state laws, such as mandated benefit laws, that limit choices available to consumers and increase costs.
The plan also would expand an existing program that provides incentives to states to establish high-risk pools for people who cannot acquire insurance in the voluntary market.