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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Applauds Health Insurance Tax Credit Proposal As Presented by Jeffords, Breaux, Frist and Armey

Larger premium subsidy urged for bipartisan group plan.

January 31, 2000

(Washington, DC): The American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine commends the efforts of Senators James Jeffords (R-VT), John Breaux (D-LA) and Bill Frist (R-TN) as well as House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-TX) on their recently unveiled proposal to provide health insurance credits for the uninsured. The legislation is similar to a plan for universal coverage released by ACP-ASIM last in February which included a refundable tax-credit for low-income Americans.

While the proposal will provide low-to moderate-income Americans with a tax credit or voucher for the purchase of health insurance, the College believes that the amount of the credit is inadequate to meet the needs of low-income uninsured. ACP-ASIM urges the bipartisan group to consider increasing the amount of the tax credit.

"This bipartisan effort to begin to tackle the health crisis faced by those without coverage is a step in the right direction," said ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP. "Hopefully this plan can be the basis for a sequential approach that will eventually be the first step in bringing health insurance to all Americans."

The College recently released a report titled, "No Health Insurance: It's Enough to Make You Sick." Some of that report's major findings include:

  • Uninsured children are 29 percent less likely to receive care for serious injuries;
  • Uninsured women diagnosed with breast cancer have a 49 percent higher adjusted risk of death; and,
  • Uninsured Americans, compared to those with insurance, are up to three times more likely to die in the hospital.

"Those without health insurance coverage get sicker and die earlier than those with coverage," said Addington. "Raising the awareness of the clinical health problems that arise due to a lack of coverage is as important as talking about the consequences of other public health risks such as smoking, drunk driving or not wearing a seatbelt. I am pleased to see these distinguished elected leaders contributing to this worthwhile dialogue"

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America.

Contacts

Jack E. Pope, ACP-ASIM Washington Office, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-03-03

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