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SANTORUM INTRODUCES LEGISLATION AIMED AT CONTROLLING MEDICAL CARE COSTS

 SANTORUM INTRODUCES LEGISLATION AIMED AT CONTROLLING
 MEDICAL CARE COSTS
 WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Pointing to the unacceptable escalation of health care costs as a primary culprit in the nation's health care crisis, U.S. Rep. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), joined by several House members, today announced his introduction of legislation to address this aspect of the problem. Santorum's legislation, H.R. 4130, the Health Care Savings Plan Act of 1992, would allow individuals and families to set up medisave accounts similar to IRA's into which tax free deposits could be made and later used for the purchase of medical services. These accounts would be combined with high-deductible policies for catastrophic expenses.
 "Under my proposal, medical savings accounts would provide greater access for all individuals to obtain affordable, quality health care," Santorum said. "In addition, extended use of medisave accounts would ensure that individuals and families have adequate health coverage in times of unemployment or economic hardship."
 Specifically, Santorum's plan would give individuals not covered by an employer's health plan a deduction for the purchase of health insurance. It would also allow Americans to self-insure for small medical expenditures while using third-party insurance for larger, expensive medical procedures. Because the plan would give people greater control over how their health care dollars are spent it would encourage preventative medicine and a prudent, cost-conscious approach to medical expenditures.
 "The concept of medisave accounts will have great appeal to the American consumer," Santorum said. "It puts cost-conscious, savings- oriented medicine in the hands of the consumer applying free-market approaches that will ultimately retain physician choice and quality of care, increase access and control costs."
 The proposal would also require individuals who set up their own medisave accounts independent of their employers to purchase high deductible insurance coverage. This requirement would guarantee all Americans adequate insurance in the case of an emergency catastrophic illness with little cost imposed on the individual.
 "Americans will be better able to plan for future health care needs because they will have more control over the use of their health care funds and will be assured of adequate, continual health coverage," Santorum explained.
 Santorum also underscored a number of other health care measures he supports including: medical malpractice reform to control costs by addressing the practice of defensive medicine; standardization of medical billing forms to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy; and review of regulations to permit the creation of insurance pools allowing small businesses to band together under one form of coverage.
 -0- 2/5/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Mihalke of the Office of Rep. Rick Santorum, 202-225-2135/ CO: Office of Rep. Rick Santorum ST: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU: LEG


TW -- DC010 -- 7088 02/05/92 10:27 EST
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Date:Feb 5, 1992
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