NCPA KidCare & Medicare Expert Available in Washington as Congress Goes to Conference on Reconciliation Bill


Details: As the House and Senate begin their conference committee work on the reconciliation bill on July 8, National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) President John Goodman will be available for interviews in Washington to discuss KidCare and Medicare reform.

In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bill Roth and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer dated June 12, members of a coalition of health policy experts, including Dr. Goodman of NCPA and David Kendall of the Progressive Policy Institute, offered the following principles to guide Congress in policy decisions to expand health care coverage for children without expanding the Medicaid entitlement system:

  • Parents should first have the opportunity to use the allocated $16 billion KidCare funding to buy private health coverage before the money is used to fund government programs. If this cannot be accomplished by tax credits at the federal level, the next best option is unrestricted block grants.
  • In the event that funding is block-granted to the states, the states should be permitted to allocate the funds in various ways, including tax credits and private sector options.

In addition, Dr. Goodman recommends that Congress not impose a tax on cigarette smokers to pay for an increase in children's health insurance, per the provisions of the Senate bill. This tax would disproportionately hurt the poor who are the largest consumers of tobacco products.

In reforming the troubled Medicare system, Dr. Goodman urges Congress to give seniors more private-sector options, including Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs), HMOs, traditional fee-for-service insurance, preferred provider networks and plans offered by associations such as AARP, unions or employers. Any senior should also be permitted to forgo the private options and stay in the current Medicare system.

Dr. Goodman, NCPA's founder, is an economist and is called the "father of Medical Savings Accounts." He has spent the last decade developing private-sector solutions to providing health care coverage to an expanded number of Americans.

WHO: JOHN GOODMAN, Ph.D., NCPA PRESIDENT

WHAT: KIDCARE AND MEDICARE EXPERT POLICY GUIDELINES

WHEN: TUESDAY, JULY 8, 1997

WHERE: NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS
727 15TH STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C.