|March 12, 2003|
At a Capitol Hill news conference, Congresswoman Kay Granger (R, TX-12) and Congressman Albert Wynn (D, MD-4) today introduced comprehensive legislation to provide health coverage for the more than 40 million uninsured Americans. The Securing Access, Value, and Equality (SAVE) in Health Care Act would offer an immediate tax credit to individuals and families to choose an affordable health plan that fits their needs.
"Nearly one out of every three people under the age of sixty-five were without health coverage for all or part of the last two years, most for more than six months. In a nation with the most advanced health care technology in the world, this cannot stand," Granger said. "The SAVE Act will give every American the coverage they deserve at a price they can afford."
This week is Cover the Uninsured Week, a national initiative Granger is using to put a face on the uninsured. At the news conference, Granger noted that four out of five uninsured Americans are members of working families and that one in four children in the U.S. lacked health care for all or part of the last two years.
The SAVE Health Care Act will provide each individual with a pre-payable, fully refundable tax credit toward the purchase of health insurance. Similar to the proposal made by President Bush, the credit would provide $1,000 for individuals, $2,000 for married couples, and $500 per dependent up to $3,000 per family. The credit goes beyond the President’s proposal by providing fifty percent of any additional premiums to assist those with higher costs. The legislation also expands eligibility requirements to allow all low and moderate income earners to have access to coverage.
"The SAVE Act will provide access to coverage for those who are shut out of our current health system, give patients more choices, and create a level playing field by offering all Americans – regardless of employment status –an option to get the care they need," said Granger.
The SAVE Act enjoys the support of Representative Nancy Johnson, Chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.