|July 14, 2005|
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX) along with Congressman Albert Wynn (D-MD) today introduced comprehensive legislation, as part of “Cover the Uninsured Week,” to provide health coverage to the more than 45 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. Cover the Uninsured Week was designated to focus national awareness on the urgency of the uninsured problem.
“Having 45 million total uninsured Americans in a nation where we have the most advanced health care technology in the world is unacceptable,” Granger said. “The SAVE Act will give every American the coverage they deserve at a price they can afford.”
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 would help ease the burden on small businesses who often lack the resources to provide health insurance for their employees. It would also assist low-incomes working families in getting the healthcare coverage they deserve. I am proud to join Congresswoman Granger in this bipartisan effort,” said Wynn.
Statistics show that the number of uninsured is growing. Nearly twenty percent of uninsured Americans – 8.4 million individuals – are children, up from 15.2 percent in the previous year; and 15.6 percent of the total U.S. population were uninsured in 2003, up from 15.2 percent in the year before.
“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 (R-CT), Chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, along with five other members. Last year the bill garnered strong bi-partisan support with 43 co-sponsors. The bill has also received the support of a broad coalition of grassroots organizations representing hospitals, business, educators, doctors and other health care professionals.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the powerful defense appropriations subcommittee. She also serves as a majority whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving in her fifth term in Congress.