Health Insurance Association Fighting Individual Tax Credits for Insurance

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Tue Jan 18 16:46:16 PST 2000

If folks want to see what the alternative is to tax credits for individuals, the Health Insurance Association of America is promoting plans for subsidies to business to keep workers tied to employer-based health care and the insurance industry -- NN

January 18, 2000 Harry, Louise Back To Push Coverage By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Harry and Louise, the fictional couple who helped defeat President Clinton's plan to provide all Americans health coverage, are back in new TV ads. This time they have a different concern -- how to help people who don't have insurance. The Health Insurance Association of America is reviving the characters for a new $1 million ad campaign aimed at getting political candidates, especially Republicans, interested in the group's proposal to bring coverage to 44 million Americans who lack insurance.

The association, representing large insurance companies, favors a combination of expanded government programs for low-income people and tax credits to help small businesses offer insurance. It's promoting that plan as an alternative to proposals that might detract from participation in employer-sponsored plans crucial to large insurers.

...Clinton and Republican leaders have talked about providing tax credits so people could buy their own insurance and possibly circumvent employer-provided insurance plans -- the main business of large insurers. The insurance group is arguing that preserving the current system of employer-based coverage, plus federal help for low-income people, is the best solution. ``I think they are concerned about proposals for individual tax credits,'' said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research group. ``Their bread and butter is selling group coverage.''

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