Kerry Offers Health Care Reform Proposals
"It's time for Washington to act to free Americans from the fear of being one health care bill away from financial ruin and leave our businesses more competitive and our kids a lot healthier," Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) writes in a Boston Globe opinion piece. According to Kerry, "Good corporate citizens are coping with a competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace" because companies abroad have lower health care costs, and, as a result, many U.S. companies "are opting out of employers' traditional heath care responsibilities."
In response, Kerry proposes a new federal reinsurance plan for catastrophic health care as "a way for health plans to manage their risks and lower your costs." Kerry adds that all U.S. children should have health insurance and recommends implementation of his Kids First plan, which would provide coverage for children in families with annual incomes less than 300% of the federal poverty level.
For adults without health insurance, Kerry proposes "making the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program affordable and accessible for everyone in American with targeted tax credits for small businesses, middle-class families and people between jobs."
Kerry writes, "We don't want to reinvent the wheel on health care; we need to take what's already working for those of us who are lucky and make it works for the millions of Americans being passed by." He adds that his proposals "could be paid for by simply repealing President Bush's cripplingly expensive tax cuts for those making more than $200,000 a year."
Kerry concludes, "It's time for a national commitment to a health care system that can be a reflection of our ambitions and not an accident of our history" (Kerry, Boston Globe, 7/31).