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.
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.