A bipartisan bill aiming for universal health coverage would, among other steps, establish federal grants for state programs for the uninsured and create a commission to recommend options for achieving universal coverage by 2010.
The bill, introduced in the House by Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), also would authorize advance refundable tax credits to subsidize health insurance for uninsured individuals and families earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level. In addition, uninsured individuals and families and small businesses would be able to buy insurance through state programs modeled after a program for federal employees.
An estimated cost for the bill's initiatives was not available, nor was an estimated reduction in the number of uninsured. Companion legislation has not been introduced in the Senate.