ATR sent the following letter today to Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ):

Congratulations on your introduction of H.R. 3218, the “Improving Health Care for All Americans Act” this week.  Your free-market health care bill gives all Americans better options for health care without raising taxes or increasing the role of government.

The heart of H.R. 3218 is the creation of refundable and advanceable tax credits for the purchase of health insurance or other health coverage.  This $5000 family credit (half that for singles) is an additional option for getting a healthcare tax benefit.  Existing options—most namely the employer-provided exclusion—remain in place as alternate mechanisms.  Unlike other plans which would displace existing coverage, the “Improving Health Care for All Americans Act” truly gives a “yes-and” solution.

Additionally, H.R. 3218 creates “Individual Membership Associations.”  This would allow any American to join in a national pool in order to purchase coverage.  In so doing, more Americans will have greater access to affordable insurance.

Finally, H.R. 3218 provides a $0.50 on the $1.00 federal match to states to incentivize the creation and full funding of high risk pools.  Over the past decades, dozens of states have found that high risk pools are the best solution for the most difficult cases.  Some Americans just can’t qualify for insurance without a government mandate, but high risk pools allow insurance companies to bring someone on with a bit more of a safety net.  No American should be left behind if they want to purchase affordable insurance, and high risk pools ensure that even our sickest neighbors can get health insurance.

All Members of Congress should co-sponsor H.R. 3218, the “Improving Health Care for All Americans Act.”