S. 4 ‘Healthy America Act of 2005’

Published September 1, 2005

Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN)
Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Senator Jim DeMint (R-NC)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)

Increasing access for the uninsured: Implement tax credits and incentives to allow more Americans affordable health care options.

Medical liability reform: By curbing the amount of unnecessary litigation and capping non-economic damages at $250,000, increases in doctor’s insurance premiums can be reduced.

Patient safety and quality improvement: Through the creation of a voluntary medical error reporting system for health care professionals, medical errors can be studied to prevent future occurrences, promoting a culture of safety and quality.

Electronic heath records: Reduce costs by eliminating the duplication of services and billing by creating a more efficient system through the use of electronic health records.

Combating fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid: Target fraud and abuse in the public health system so more funds are available to provide patients with quality care.

Long-term care insurance: Encourage individuals to plan for future health care needs by making long-term care insurance more affordable and available.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): Encourage individuals to enroll in HSAs to offset medical costs, as well as expand medical expenses eligible for fund use.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs): Increase the flexibility of FSAs by allowing up to $500 to rollover each year without tax consequence.

State high-risk pools: Provide seed grants to states to create high-risk health insurance pools so individuals typically unable to find or afford coverage can have insurance.

Community health centers: Increase the number of community health centers, which provide services to low-income and medically underserved communities regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

Source: August 2, 2005 news release from Sen. Lisa Murkowski