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Manzullo: Health care reform should start with two bipartisan bills
Posted By Brandon Reid On March 1, 2010 @ 10:39 am In Happening Now | 1 Comment
From press release
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R) has suggested two bills he believes would be a good bipartisan starting point for health care reform.
Manzullo, former chairman of the House Small Business Committee, said nearly 60 percent of America’s 47 million uninsured are self-employed or work for small employers who can’t afford to provide them and their families affordable health care coverage. Manzullo suggested the following two bipartisan bills he said would reduce the cost of health insurance for small employers so they can afford to provide coverage for their employees and families:
• H.R. 2360, the Small Business Health Options Program Act of 2009 (SHOP Act), would allow small employers to purchase health insurance at reduced group rates through national associations while still following state rules. Manzullo is one of 60 bipartisan co-sponsors of H.R. 2360, which also enjoys support from the liberal Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AARP, and the conservative National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A companion bill in the Senate was authored by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and enjoys similar bipartisan support.
• H.R. 1470, the Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act of 2009, would let small employers deduct their health insurance costs from their Social Security and Medicare tax liabilities, giving them the same deduction as large employers. The self-employed pay on average $12,106 annually for family health care coverage, and H.R. 1470 would save them $1,852 a year, according to the Kaiser Foundation. Manzullo is one of 48 bipartisan co-sponsors of H.R. 1470.
“If President Obama and Congressional leaders are truly interested in bipartisan health care reform, they should start with two bills—H.R. 2360 and H.R. 1470—that already enjoy bipartisan support and can be passed through Congress and signed into law quickly,” Manzullo said. “These bills would dramatically reduce the costs of health insurance for small employers so they can better afford to provide coverage for their employees and their families. And they will reduce the rolls of the uninsured without increasing taxes, killing jobs, forcing Americans into a government-run program, and burdening our children and grandchildren with even more debt.”
Manzullo also supports the following additional changes to America’s health care system:
1. Reforming our out-of-control medical liability system—Medical malpractice insurance continues to surge, skyrocketing health care costs and forcing doctors and other medical professionals to practice “defensive medicine,” which entails ordering costly and often unnecessary tests to cover all the bases from lawsuits. Manzullo is a cosponsor of the HEALTH Act (H.R. 1086), which would fully compensate victims for medical injuries but place reasonable caps on punitive and non-economic damages that often inflate the awards and contribute to out-of-control liability and health care costs.
2. Expanding tax-free availability to Health Savings Accounts—HSAs allow small business owners to offer more affordable high-deductible health insurance plans to their employees and make tax-deductible contributions to employee savings accounts to allow their employees to build equity and assume personal control of their health care needs. Congress should increase the tax deductibility for these insurance plans.
3. Preserving high-quality health care through America’s community health clinics—Manzullo supports continued funding of our community health clinic system, which provides high-quality health care to America’s low-income families. Manzullo has been a strong supporter of Rockford’s Crusader Clinic, which serves more than 40,000 needy patients in northern Illinois each year.
4. Creating refundable tax credits to help low-income Americans purchase health insurance—Low-income children are already covered through the federal SCHIP program, and Manzullo supports refundable tax credits to help low-income adults purchase health insurance.
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