How To Help Uninsured Americans

Posted on Tue 12/17/2013 by


Payne_Amy.ashxBy Amy Payne ~hcplan

Two of the problems Obamacare promised to solve were getting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and helping the uninsured get coverage. Last week, we talked about how Heritage’s alternative to Obamacare would help people with pre-existing conditions. Today, let’s talk about the uninsured.

Obamacare’s promise of insuring all Americans isn’t working out. According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 30 million people will still be uninsured in 10 years.

So how can we help the uninsured?

Level the playing field. People who aren’t offered health insurance through their workplaces deserve to be treated the same as those who do get coverage at work.

Right now, people in the individual market aren’t getting the same tax benefit for purchasing health insurance that people with employer-sponsored plans are getting. Employers can provide tax-free health benefits to their employees, but individuals purchasing health insurance on their own must use after-tax dollars.

To fix this, Heritage has suggested a tax credit or tax deduction that would be the same for everyone. This would help offset the cost of insurance, making it more affordable.

Get coverage and keep it. Many people become uninsured because they lose a job or change jobs. Heritage proposes making insurance policies more personal—so that you can keep your policy, even if you change jobs. That way, your policy stays with you, even in an uncertain economy.

These two ideas would bring vast improvements over the health insurance market we have known. And they would go a long way toward helping people afford—and keep—health coverage.

As Heritage expert Alyene Senger has said, “The American health system is in need of reform that helps the uninsured get health coverage of their choice, not an extension of government dependence that comes with Obamacare.”

Learn more about alternatives to Obamacare.

Amy Payne is Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at  The Heritage Foundation .  In that capacity, Amy serves as Managing Editor of The Foundry, Heritage’s public policy news blog, as well as the “Morning Bell”, one of Washington’s most widely read and influential e-newsletters.

Read more informative articles at Heritage – The Foundry .