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HEAL MEETS WITH PRESIDENT BUSH TO DISCUSS HEALTH CARE REFORM

 HEAL MEETS WITH PRESIDENT BUSH TO DISCUSS HEALTH CARE REFORM
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The executive committee of the Healthcare Equity Action League (HEAL) met with President Bush today to discuss HEAL's proposals for reforming the nation's health care system.
 Members of the HEAL delegation said after the meeting the president shares their belief that reforms are needed. HEAL members reported the president repeated his opposition to national health insurance or any type of system that mandates an employer to provide coverage. HEAL shares that opposition with the president.
 "HEAL is an organization that wants to get people covered, keep people covered and reduce health care costs," said HEAL co-chairman Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler- Distributors. "Clearly, from what I heard, President Bush is determined to bring about health care reform, but common sense reform that really works."
 HEAL is a coalition of more than 375 large and small businesses, corporations, associations, health care providers and insurers representing more than 1 million employers and 35 million employees.
 HEAL proposes a number of significant reforms to the current health care system, rather than scrapping the system in favor of something entirely new and unproven. Any new national health care program run by the federal government would require additional taxes. HEAL believes those increased taxes could cause people to lose their jobs. The impact would be especially severe on small businesses which currently create half of the nation's private-sector jobs.
 Recent studies have estimated that national health insurance would cost taxpayers $81.5 billion a year. "Play or pay" would cost employers an estimated $36 billion annually and taxpayers another $30 billion.
 HEAL supports a package of proposals that would control health care costs and make coverage available to more people. The proposals include: the elimination of expensive state mandates that require insurance companies to cover such treatments as hair transplants; the lifting of bans against managed care plans; reform of malpractice insurance laws; changes in underwriting rules so people would not lose their insurance when they file large claims; and giving unincorporated businesses a 100 percent tax deduction for the cost of health insurance premiums.
 The delegation told the president that many of these proposals already enjoy bipartisan support in Congress, and could be passed soon as a starting point for incremental reform.
 -0- 1/14/92
 /CONTACT: Jane Robbins for the Healthcare Equity Action League, 202-833-4822/ CO: Healthcare Equity Action League ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA INS SU:


DC-MH -- DC022 -- 9755 01/14/92 17:25 EST
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Date:Jan 14, 1992
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