All 16 Senate sponsors of the Healthy Americans Acta broad bill that would effectively end employer-sponsored healthcare in favor of insurance from a pool of providershave called on the two major-party presidential candidates to work with them on health reform legislation.
We believe it is vital that we start working now to ensure that all of our people have high-quality care early in the next administration without breaking the bank, the senators wrote in a letter sent to Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). The senators go on to say that a strong, bipartisan coalition will allow a reform initiative to survive the assaults of politics and interests that afflict any serious reform proposal.
In May, congressional budget auditors said that the bill, primarily sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), would be self-financing or budget-neutral in its first year, eventually yielding a surplus.
As written, the legislation would provide incentives to buy basic private health plans and make health insurance more portable. People with incomes below the federal poverty level could receive subsidies to buy insurance, and states would be given more flexibility to give consumers more choices in insurance available on the private market. -- by Matthew DoBias