Free-market-oriented organizations, faith-based health organizations and other organizations have joined to start the Health Care Freedom Coalition.

The 26 groups met in Washington earlier this week to hold a press conference to unveil the HCFC’s “freedom agenda,” according to the HCFC, Hagerstown, Md.

Speakers included Merrill Matthews of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Alexandria, Va., and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Washington.

The coalition introduced the following statement of principles:

“We, the Health Care Freedom Coalition, believe the solution to the nation’s health care problems is to make health care affordable for all Americans through a competitive, open, and transparent health care system where America’s families choose their own doctor and health care plans.”

The coalition says any comprehensive reform proposal should include the following:

-Free choice of doctors, hospitals and health plans.

- Health savings account option for all Americans.

- Tax fairness and simplification.

- Affordable health insurance for small business.

- Buying health insurance across state lines.

- Health care price disclosure.

- High risk pools for people who are sick.

- Rules allowing nonprofit, faith-based alternatives to health insurance.

- More competition between facilities.