George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues
Care and the Uninsured
There are 43 million uninsured
Americans – 4 million more than when the current Administration took
office. Governor Bush will reverse this trend by making health insurance
affordable for hard-working, low-income families. His plan will provide
them with a $2,000 refundable health credit so that they can choose health
plans and physicians that fit their needs. He will also make it easier for
small businesses, which employ 60 percent of the uninsured, to obtain
lower cost insurance through associations. Finally, Governor Bush will
remove federal regulations that restrict state flexibility in designing
and implementing programs for the uninsured. Governor Bush will put
the consumer, not the government, in charge of health care decisions.
Governor Bush’s Approach
Make Health Insurance Affordable: Families caught between poverty and
prosperity make up the largest segment of the uninsured. In fact, 80
percent of the uninsured are working Americans or their dependents. This
number is driving the dramatic increase in the uninsured since 1993.
Governor Bush believes these families should have the opportunity to
purchase a health plan of their own – a basic plan that includes
hospitalization and physician benefits, and a discounted prescription
Help Small Businesses: Almost 60 percent of all workers without health
insurance are employed by small businesses. The high price these
businesses must pay for health insurance is often passed on to their
employees, who, in turn, cannot afford the coverage. Since the road
to the middle class is often through employment with small businesses,
which provide 65 percent of workers with their first job, Governor Bush is
committed to making health insurance more affordable for these businesses
and their employees.
Remove Regulatory Barriers for the States: The 1997 State Children’s
Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was intended to be a flexible block
grant program, designed to allow states to expand Medicaid and/or develop
new private sector programs to cover the 7.2 million uninsured children in
families with incomes under 200 percent of the poverty level. However,
federal regulations have limited states’ ability to innovate. Governor
Bush will lift these restrictions so that states can develop 21st century
health care delivery systems.
Empower Individuals: Governor Bush believes that people should have every
opportunity to manage more of their own health care needs. He will
empower individuals with greater freedom of choice by lifting the
artificial restrictions on Health Flexible Savings Accounts and Medical
Governor Bush’s Proposals
To help individuals and families afford quality health care, Governor Bush
Offer a Refundable Health Credit: Families that don’t qualify for
Medicaid and other government assistance and who don’t get insurance
through their employer, will be offered a $2,000 health credit ($1000 for
individuals) to assist in purchasing a basic health insurance plan. Those
most in need will receive the most help:
- For example, if a family earning $30,000 purchases a health
insurance plan costing $2,222, the government will contribute $2,000
(90 percent), and the family will pay just $18.50 per month ($222
annually, or 10 percent).
- If a family earning $50,000 purchases the same $2,222 health plan,
the government’s contribution will be $667, and the family’s
contribution will be $129 a month ($1,555 annually, or 70 percent).
Permit Small Businesses to Purchase Association Health Plans: In order
to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses,
Governor Bush supports allowing these companies to purchase health
plans from multi-state trade associations, such as the Chamber of
Commerce, so that they can enjoy the same economies of scale that
large employers have and realize the significant savings that group
Strengthen S-CHIP: Governor Bush supports lifting restrictions on
state flexibility so that States have the freedom to implement
creative solutions for expanded coverage of the uninsured under
S-CHIP. His Administration will work in partnership with states
– not act as a roadblock –to state innovation.
Empower Individuals with Greater Freedom of Choice: Governor Bush
supports expanding and reforming two innovative health care options
for individuals: Medical Savings Accounts and Flexible Savings
Accounts. By removing many of the structural design flaws and
tax disincentives, individuals will have greater freedom of choice and
be empowered to make their own health care choices.
Expanded Access to Health Insurance for Children
- Governor Bush signed legislation to create the Children’s Health
Insurance Program as well as an optional, parallel program for
immigrant children. These two programs will ensure that 423,000 Texas
children will receive health insurance.
Directed Additional Funding for Health Care Programs
- In 1999, Governor Bush directed an additional $1.8 billion dollars
to health care initiatives in Texas. This is in addition to the
over $4 billion that is already spent on health care for the
Created endowments for public health initiatives, including:
- Tobacco education programs aimed at teaching children and young
adults about the risks associated with tobacco use, and funding for
enforcement activities aimed at restricting youth access to tobacco.
- Emergency medical services and trauma care, including funds that
support the Texas’ Community and Hospital based system, which
ensures that no Texan goes without health care.
Led the nation in adopting a strong Patients’ Bill of Rights
- Allowing patients to appeal HMO decisions to an independent review
panel and in some cases sue their HMO if they are hurt by a health
care treatment decision.
- Giving women direct access to their obstetricians and gynecologists
and ensuring women will be covered for a minimum of 48-hours in the
hospital after childbirth.
- Requiring health plans that cover mastectomy or related procedures
to allow patients 48 hours inpatient care following a mastectomy and
coverage for reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy.
- Ensuring doctor choice by giving employees the right to choose their
own doctor, even outside their health plan, so long as they are
willing to pay additional costs of that coverage.
Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site
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