||February 15, 2006
||Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Robert Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary
President's Proposal Would Make Health Care Less, Not More, Affordable
The health care affordability crisis would get worse for America’s families, who will pay more out of pocket when they are forced into high-deductible plans.
President Bush today is outlining his health care agenda in a speech in Dublin, Ohio. The following is the statement of Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, about the President’s health care proposal:
“The President’s solution for the health care affordability crisis is to promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)—health insurance plans that would require America’s families to pay more for their health care. His proposal would push people into health plans with huge deductibles, thereby making health care less affordable.
“For American families on tight budgets, the President’s proposal will make the health affordability crisis much worse. High-deductible insurance policies will force families to delay needed care, which will drive up costs in the long run as easy-to-treat conditions become expensive illnesses.
“The Administration argues that, if people are forced to pay more health care costs out of pocket, they will comparison shop and request quality data, thereby driving down the cost of care.
“But shopping for health care is not like shopping for a new TV or car. When you are on the way to the emergency room with chest pains—or with an injured child—no reasonable person is going to comparison shop for the cheapest emergency room or stop by the library to research hospital quality.
“While harming families on tight budgets, the President’s proposed expansion of HSAs will provide tax shelters for the wealthy. They are the ones who can afford to pay high deductibles and have disposable income to shelter from income taxes—and their higher tax brackets will give them the biggest tax breaks.
“The President is right to focus attention on the growing health care affordability crisis. Unfortunately, his proposed solution will make that crisis worse.”
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
1201 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1100 · Washington, DC 20005
202-628-3030 · Email: email@example.com · www.familiesusa.org