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Bush proposes plan to expand health insurance coverage

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 01 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:225
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    In his state of the union address last week President George Bush proposed changes to the tax laws that would, he said, let more people buy individual health insurance policies. This would help to insure the 47 million Americans who now lack coverage, he said.

    The president also proposed redirecting Medicaid funds away from hospitals that provide free care to uninsured patients to subsidies to help poor people buy health insurance. Big city hospitals that treat uninsured patients said that this proposal would result in their suffering financial cuts of $30bn (£15bn; €23bn), which would particularly affect their emergency and outpatient departments.

    Critics said that the tax changes would benefit richer people, while poorer people would still not be able to afford health insurance. Furthermore, the proposed changes would undermine the existing system of health insurance through employers.

    The …

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