On January 18, 2007 the Healthy Americans Act was introduced.
(see http://www.shrm.org/government/insider_published/CMS_020269.asp#P41_9110) This act would provide universal, private health insurance for all Americans. The bill would eliminate the current employer-based system and put individuals in charge of their own medical/health care. Another benefit in this act is that all would be accepted regardless of their medical wellness and regardless of prior existing conditions. There would be subsidies for low income families and tax deductions. However, it is also mandating that ALL Americans obtain coverage (and we all know how we feel about being told what to do by big brother.) The economic feasibility of only offering two medical programs to cover the entire United States and the logistics are not spelled out in this Act. While I am not sure that I agree with all facets of this particular Act, I do know that change is needed. Recent article in business journals and newspapers indicate the growing trend for employees to enter the work force not for an additional paycheck but for insurance coverage and other employees not being able to advance in their fields because they can't switch insurance companies (based on what the new employer would offer) because of pre-existing conditions is ludicrous. While this particular bill may not be the 'best' answer, I am relieved that it will at least generate more discussion in congress on the matter.