A task force of 12 Senate Republicans said the central pieces of any federal plan to reduce the number of uninsured should be tax credits, insurance market reforms and increased availability of health savings accounts. The task force was formed last fall by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to explore options for increasing health coverage, and many of its proposals have already been put forth or are supported by the White House. The group also recommended increasing funding for community health centers, removing barriers to association health plans and reforming medical liability laws. According to task force estimates, the recommendations would increase coverage by up to 29 million people at a total annual cost to the healthcare system of $137 billion. The program would cost the federal government $93 billion over five years but reduce federal spending elsewhere by $107 billion during that period, for a net savings of $14 billion. -- by Tony Fong
Frist task force outlines basics of uninsured plan
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