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Health Care

The American Voice supports eliminating the current system of tax breaks for employer-based health insurance and replacing it with a new national system of tax credits for families and individuals as the best reform option. Several benefits are offered by such a system. Personal choice of a wide variety of health plans would be allowed along with individual health insurance ownership. Families and individuals, not the employer, would be the consumers, thus causing health insurance companies to tailor their plans to an increasingly diverse group of Americans.

Individuals would be able to maintain the same policies and coverage they enjoy in their current plans if they changed jobs or employment status under such a new system. Families and individuals would no longer be at the mercy of someone else's decisions for their health insurance. It would be their choice of insurance plan and physician. They would also be able to purchase large group plans offered by professional and trade associations, unions or employee organizations, or ethnic, fraternal, and religiouis organizations instead of group insurance from an employer-based system.

Although some progress has been made toward the goal of personal ownership, Congress limits the number of individuals and their families allowed to make tax free contributions to MSA's but permits the self-employed to deduct more of the cost of purchasing coverage. However, the MSA legislation is burdened with regulatory restrictions and limitations. In addition, tax deductions have a very limited reach. Unfortunately, today the majority of Americans have employment-based health insurance that they do not own, control, or choose. The use of funds in tax-free flexible spending accounts (FAS's) is the only current exception to this general pattern. Unfortunately, restrictive tax policies limit the usefulness of these accounts.

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