CEOs representing America™s leading companies today proposed a health care policy plan aimed at delivering more value for consumers, expanding affordable health insurance options for all Americans and ensuring a stable, secure public safety net. The plan would promote changes to make the health care system more efficient and transparent to American consumers, while providing more marketplace options for employers and individuals to obtain coverage.

The problem with the health care market in this country is that it doesn™t really function as a market “ leaving major consumer needs unmet, costs unchecked by competition, and basic practices untouched by the productivity revolution that has transformed every other sector of the economy, said Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications and chairman of the Consumer Health and Retirement Initiative at Business Roundtable. Our health care policy plan will unleash the power of technology to put consumers in charge, break down barriers to innovation and competition, and dramatically reduce the ranks of the uninsured.

As the provider of health insurance coverage to more than 35 million employees and their families, Business Roundtable members are fully dedicated to public policy changes to improve our nation™s health care system.

With most Americans™ health benefits tied to their jobs, people worry that they won™t be able to afford coverage for their families if they move to a new job, retire early or try to start their own business. We are committed to protecting coverage for the 177 million Americans who receive it through their employers, while making the health care system more efficient, flexible and affordable for everyone, Seidenberg said.

Business Roundtable™s health care policy plan has four pillars:

  • Creating Greater Consumer Value in the health care marketplace by using health information technology and empowering consumers with more information about good, quality health care.
  • Providing More Affordable Health Insurance Options for All Americans by creating an open, all-inclusive private market for health insurance, replacing today’s highly fragmented, state-by-state market with multi-state markets. This would create more choices for more health care consumers through broader, more competitive markets.
  • Placing an Obligation on All Americans to Obtain Health Insurance, either through their employer or the private market. Americans would also be encouraged to participate in employer or community-based prevention and chronic care programs.
  • Offering Health Coverage and Assistance to Low-Income, Uninsured Americans, creating a stable and secure public safety net. This assistance would be financed from the cost savings and efficiencies generated by a more competitive and value-driven health care system.

Technology, competition and innovation can be the most powerful weapons in the fight to provide every American reliable, affordable health insurance, added Business Roundtable President John Castellani. Business Roundtable™s health care policy plan signals the strong commitment of America™s business leaders to work with our political leadership to develop a common-ground solution that works for all Americans.

The full plan can be viewed at: http://www.businessroundtable.org/pdf/HealthPlan-Prepublication.pdf

Business Roundtable (www.businessroundtable.org) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with $4.5 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and represent over 40 percent of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Collectively, they returned $114 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy in 2006.

Business Roundtable
Kirk Monroe
Office: 202-496-3269
Mobile: 202-680-0282

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