Bill Uses Tax Code To Boost Individual Health Insurance
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Wednesday introduced legislation that is designed to boost enrollment in non-group health insurance plans, CongressDaily reports. The plan would reallocate the tax breaks given for health insurance premiums from employers to individual consumers. The legislation would create "Medi-Choice" tax rebates valued at $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for families to purchase health insurance.
Any money left over could be directed to a tax-free health savings account. Employers would be allowed to subsidize portable individual or group insurance.
Coburn and Burr's plan also would place limits on medical malpractice lawsuits.
In addition, it would include a charter to establish private, not-for-profit health record bank accounts to store patients' medical data. People would be given a card similar to an ATM card that would allow providers to access their complete medical histories and insurance information (CongressDaily, 3/21).