Health care reform efforts should keep the pillars of the current U.S. system – employer plans and public safety-net programs.
Representatives from insurance groups, provider groups, employer groups and other interest groups come to that conclusion in a new report issued by Health Reform Dialogue, Washington a coalition that is trying to help the groups reach a consensus on how to proceed.
The United States now has 46 million uninsured residents, and that number is greater “than the combined population of 24 states,” the coalition says in the report.
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Congress should develop a universal health system that gives individuals eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program the option to use aid dollars to buy employer-sponsored coverage, the coalition says.
This should be allowed “so long as full Medicaid or CHIP wrap-around coverage is available,” the coalition says.
The coalition says any new system also should include:
- Advanceable, refundable tax credits or other subsidies on a sliding scale for individuals and families to buy adequate and affordable coverage, which should include effective preventive services.
- Subsidies for small businesses to provide health insurance for their employees.
- Assurances that a “fair and transparent marketplace” will be available for buying insurance regardless of individual’s health status, age, or other factors.
- Mandates that allow all individuals to buy or obtain quality, affordable health insurance and “ensure adequate payment to clinicians and providers by public programs to assure access to care.”
- Improvements in Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment efforts.