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Lawmaker Proposes End To Employer-Owned Health Coverage

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A Georgia Republican wants to get employers out of the business of buying health insurance for their employees.[@@]

The lawmaker, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., has proposed a resolution, H.Res. 215, that calls for Congress to reshape the U.S. health care delivery system to give individuals direct ownership of their health insurance policies.

The proposed resolution has 24 cosponsors.

“Right now employers or the government determine which health benefits are included in an insurance policy, and it may not be what the patient needs or wants,” Price, a third generation physician, said on the House floor, according to a copy of his remarks that appears in the Congressional Record. “When patients voice their concerns, insurance companies respond with a deaf ear because the patient cannot change the policy. They are excluded from that decision.”

Nearly 90% of companies with fewer than 200 employees offer only 1 health plan, Price said.

“What this means is that the person most affected by health care, the patient, has little or no input into the type of coverage they have,” Price said. “Patients should be able to control their health care.”

H.Res 215 has been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee employer-employee relations subcommittee.

Links to the text of H. Res. 215 and other information about the proposed resolution are on the Web at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.res.00215: