Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, proposed legislation last week that includes 10 steps intended to expand access to healthcare providers and insurance.
"This 10-step proposal reflects ideas and concepts from a host of proposals already introduced — it encapsulates the best of the best ideas and puts forward new, innovative approaches,” said Enzi. “The hallmark of this proposal is to provide more options, more choices and more control to every American."
Enzi's steps include the following:
- Eliminate unequal tax treatment of health insurance for all U.S. residents;
- Implement a standard tax deduction to increase affordable health insurance options for working families;
- Implement a refundable, advanceable and assignable tax-based subsidy to make affordable health insurance available to low-income U.S. residents;
- Provide interstate pooling of health insurance and increase accessibility for small-business owners and members of associations and unions;
- Expand the portability provisions of HIPAA by combining individual and group markets for enhanced insurance security portability as people change jobs;
- Place greater emphasis on preventive benefits;
- Allow beneficiaries to convert the value of Medicaid and SCHIP benefits into private health insurance to increase personal control over coverage;
- Coordinate health information technology to increase healthcare delivery;
- Increase access to primary care in rural areas, especially for seniors, by helping future providers and nurses pay for their education; and
- Support state-based solutions to decrease healthcare costs and restore reliability in the medical justice system.