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Coalition formed to push health care reform


WASHINGTON—Nearly 40 major U.S. employers and insurers have formed a coalition to lobby for reform of the nation's health care system.

The Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform has adopted core principles that include making health care coverage universal and requiring all individuals to have such coverage.

Additionally, the government should provide financial assistance to enable low-income individuals to obtain coverage, while those buying health insurance should—just like employers—be able to take a tax deduction for the cost of premiums.

"We share a determination to have all Americans covered," said Steve Burd, chief executive officer of Safeway Inc., in Pleasanton, Calif., which is a member of coalition.

Coalition members say they have a better chance of shaping reform legislation by being active participants in the legislative process rather than staying on the sidelines.

Other members of the CAHR coalition include: General Mills Inc., H.J. Heinz Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Norfolk Southern Corp. and PepsiCo Inc. Insurer members include Aetna Inc., Blue Shield of California, Cigna HealthCare and Kaiser Permanente.