Healthcare stakeholders immediately attacked a new healthcare reform campaign released by Americas Health Insurance Plans that seeks input from consumers to find solutions for affordable coverage.
AHIP touts the Campaign for an American Solution as a national grass-roots and educational initiative to build support for workable healthcare reform. In a teleconference, Karen Ignagni, AHIP president and chief executive officer, said the organization would be bringing these ideas across the country to figure out additional challenges and get a sense of what people are experiencing from their healthcare coverage.
The Service Employees International Union, representing over 900,000 caregivers and hospital employees, said that AHIPs new plan isnt serious about changing high costs and poor coverage. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Ways and Means healthcare subcommittee, was also critical of the plan. The campaign rings as true as the tobacco industrys efforts to end smoking, he said. There is nothing grass-roots about it. It is designed, financed and coordinated through their Washington trade association with the singular goal of protecting their profits.
To reform the healthcare system, AHIPs proposals rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program to cover low-income, uninsured families and individuals. AHIP also suggests creating a healthcare coverage tax credit for working families and a tax-free portable health account, in addition to a federal performance grant program to assist states in expanding access to coverage. -- by Jennifer Lubell