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January 2007

New Proposal from the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured

On January 18, the Health Coverage Coalition for the Uninsured (HCCU), a coalition of 16 diverse national organizations, unveiled a proposal to provide coverage to over half of the nation’s 47 million uninsured.  The group worked for more than two years to develop the plan. 

The first phase of the proposal calls for several short-term steps to increase coverage for children.  A “Kids First” initiative would increase enrollment for uninsured children that are currently eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP through “one-stop shopping.” States would be provided the additional SCHIP funding needed to cover these children, at an estimated cost of $45 billion over 5 years.  The proposal also calls for a new family tax credit for the purchase of children’s health coverage and a state demonstration program for states to use competitive grants to experiment with coverage expansions.

The second longer-term phase of the proposal would focus on uninsured adults.  The proposal would give states the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to all adults with incomes up to the poverty level.  The proposal would also offer tax credits for adults with incomes between 100 and 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to help them purchase private coverage. 

Participating organizations include AARP, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Catholic Health Association, Families USA, Federation of American Hospitals, Healthcare Leadership Council, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Pfizer Inc., United Health Foundation, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

More information is available on the Coalition’s Web site.