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AHIP proposes health care for all U.S. citizens


WASHINGTON--America's Health Insurance Plans on Monday launched an effort to provide health insurance to nearly all U.S. citizens that also would maintain tax preferences for employer-provided coverage.

The 10-year plan would cost the federal government about $300 billion over 10 years, according to AHIP, a Washington-based health insurer trade group. Among other things, the plan would expand eligibility for public programs and allow all consumers to buy health insurance with pretax dollars.

The plan also calls for the creation of a new health care financing mechanism called a universal health account. These plans, to which employers could contribute on a tax-deductible basis, would allow some degree of federal matching for individual contributions for people who earn up to 400% of the federal poverty line. UHAs could pay for any type of health insurance plan, including HMOs and PPOs.

AHIP's goal is to expand access to health coverage to all children within three years and to 95% of all adults within a decade.