Senate delays health insurance relief

News Associated Builders and Contractors August 27, 2004
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Citing figures released by the U

Citing figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the number of Americans without health insurance increased by 1.4 million in 2003--to 45 million--the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) urged Congress to adopt Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation and medical liability reform legislation advocated by President Bush. The Census figures showed the percentage of Americans with health coverage dropped from 84.8% to 84.4%, mirroring the drop of the percentage of people covered by employment-based health insurance from 61.3% in 2002 to 60.4% in 2003.


"President Bush has provided bold leadership to address America's health care coverage needs, and today's Census numbers show how vital it is for Congress to act quickly to enact the health care solutions advocated by the president," said Kirk Pickerel, ABC president and CEO. "The president has offered a multi-tiered approach to providing access to affordable health insurance for small businesses.


"The numbers released by the Census Bureau underscore how important it is that Congress act quickly to pass this critical legislation providing health care coverage by American workers."


The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed AHP legislation on June 19, 2003, but to date the U.S. Senate has failed to consider this legislation.


"President Bush has repeatedly asked the Senate to act to pass Association Health Plans legislation to help address the growing number of Americans without health insurance, but the Senate has failed to act," said Pickerel. "The House has passed this bipartisan legislation, and today's Census report reiterates that it is time for the Senate to act."


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