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STUDY: UNDER THE BUSH PLAN, ONLY SICK PEOPLE WOULD BUY HEALTH INSURANCE

 STUDY: UNDER THE BUSH PLAN,
 ONLY SICK PEOPLE WOULD BUY HEALTH INSURANCE
 /ADVANCE/ DALLAS, April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study says that few healthy people would ever buy health insurance if President Bush's proposed health care reform plan became law. The reason? The plan allows people to become insured the moment they enter a hospital and to drop their coverage as they leave.
 "Although touted as a private sector, market-based reform, the Bush plan would literally destroy private health insurance," said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based research institute which published the study. "There would be no reason for healthy people to buy insurance because they would be allowed to purchase it for the same price after they become sick. As a result, only sick people would purchase insurance and the premiums would have to be exorbitant."
 The Bush plan would prohibit employers and insurance companies from denying coverage or charging a higher price to people based on their health condition. The acknowledged goal of the Bush plan is to allow people who are ill to obtain coverage for the same premium as people who are healthy. An AIDS victim would pay the same premium as someone who does not have AIDS. A cancer patient would pay the same as someone who does not have cancer.
 The Bush proposal would give families who purchase their own health insurance a tax credit or a tax deduction which varies by income level. But according to the study, the tax advantages created by the plan "would be more than wiped out by the increasing cost of health insurance."
 Goodman said the Bush plan would exacerbate the nation's two most pressing health care problems: Rising health insurance costs and an increasing number of people who lack health insurance.
 "Contrary to a widespread impression, most of the 35 million people who are uninsured are healthy, not sick," said Goodman. "They tend to be young and tend to have below-average income and few assets. They are uninsured because the price of insurance is too high relative to the perceived benefits.
 "The uninsured are a problem because today's healthy male could be tomorrow's motorcycle head injury victim. Today's healthy female could deliver tomorrow's premature baby. Hospitals are forced to deliver care that the uninsured patient can't pay for.
 "The Bush proposal would make the problem worse," said Goodman. "It encourages people to avoid paying premiums until they enter the hospital emergency room door."
 -0- 4/2/92/0630
 /NOTE: For a copy of the study, call Pat Korten at 703-734-1776, or Dorman Cordell at 214-386-6272./
 /CONTACT: Pat Korten for the National Center for Policy Analysis, 703-734-1776/ CO: National Center for Policy Analysis ST: Texas IN: HEA SU:


DC -- DC026 -- 4048 04/01/92 16:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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