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AGENTS SAY COOPER BILL IS STEP IN RIGHT DIRECTION BUT WOULD STILL LEAD TO FEWER CHOICES AND JEOPARDIZE THE QUALITY OF CARE

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking on behalf of the Association of Health Insurance Agents (AHIA) and its parent organization, the National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), AHIA President Sam J. Cunningham, CLU, ChFC, RHU, issued the following statement in response to the Managed Competition Act of 1993 sponsored by various bipartisan members of Congress:
 We were very pleased to see bipartisan support for many of the reform ideas that agents have advocated. Clearly, many in Congress believe -- as we do, that the U.S. should build on the strengths of the private health insurance system.
 We agree that every American should be guaranteed insurance coverage. AHIA supports insurance reforms that would guarantee universal acces?, renewability and portability of coverage for businesses and their employees. We also favor 100 percent deductibility of premiums for the self-employed, which the Managed Competition Act of 1993 calls for today.
 However, we continue to have grave concerns about any reform plan that would deny employers the right to choose where they purchase their insurance coverage. We hope the plan's sponsors see that part of creating a "level playing field" means that small employers and there employees shouldn't be forced to purchase insurance exclusively through large "health alliances." Rather, employers and consumers should be able to choose from an array of competing plans and carriers in the private marketplace. Why not give all businesses and their employees the same choices?
 While we are pleased to see members take a step in the right direction by reducing size of businesses whose employees would be required to participate in an insurance purchasing pool, we are disappointed that the plan does not go far enough. Only by making health alliances totally voluntary can we ensure that the choice and quality Americans are used to will be preserved. We hope to be a positive voice for change in this area when the issue is debated in Congress this year and next.
 The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), founded in 1890, is a federation of 1,000 state and local life underwriters associations. The 142,000 members of these local associations are sales professionals in life and health insurance and other related financial services.
 AHIA, a conference of NALU, provides legislative, educational and public relations support to agents who sell and service health insurance and employee benefit plans.
 -0- 10/6/93
 /CONTACT: Betsy Glick of the Association of Health Insurance Agents, 202-331-6096/


CO: Association of Health Insurance Agents; National Association of
 Life Underwriters ST: District of Columbia IN: INS HEA SU: LEG


KD-IH -- DC032 -- 9449 10/06/93 15:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1993
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