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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

House Majority Leader Armey Calls for Tax Credit to Help 44 Million Uninsured Americans

October 26, 1999

Lack of health insurance called a public health crisis

(WASHINGTON, DC): Congress should enact a refundable tax credit to enable the more than 44 million Americans without health insurance to buy decent insurance coverage, said House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-TX) at a function sponsored today by the American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).

"In my home state, of Texas, for example, one out of four people are uninsured," Armey said.

Congressman Armey suggests creating a new tax credit would enable all Americans to buy decent health coverage - without a new government bureaucracy or costly mandates. The credit would enable them to shop for basic health coverage that suits their individual needs - insurance that's portable from job to job.

House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-TX) and ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP
House of Representative Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) discusses lack of health insurance for one out of four Texans with American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP.

The Congressman's bill, called the "Fair Care for the Uninsured Act," would offer all Americans the equivalent of a certificate for private health insurance. The certificate would be available to every American who does not have public or employer-provided health coverage. It would be fully refundable, meaning one receives it even if no tax liability is owed.

"The medical experience of the majority of physicians and more than 130 scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that a lack of health insurance represents a risk just as serious as smoking tobacco, not wearing seat belts or excessive alcohol consumption," said ACP-ASIM President Whitney Addington, MD, FACP, in introducing the Congressman. "Look at the facts: 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. Uninsured men are up to three times more likely to die in the hospital."

"Make no mistake," Dr. Addington concluded. "We are in the middle of a national health epidemic that potentially threatens us all."

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 and treat more Medicare patients than any other medical specialists.


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

Page updated: 11-04-03

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