Congress To Consider "Fair Care"

April 4, 2001 ( - Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate that would provide tax credits to help uninsured Americans obtain health insurance.

The bills would provide a tax credit for the purchase of private health insurance:

  • $1,000 for an individual taxpayer
  • $1,000 for a spouse
  • $500 for a dependent, with no more than two dependents eligible for the subsidy.

The maximum credit for a family purchasing health coverage would be $3,000 annually.

Bill Sponsors

Representative Dick Armey (R-TX) introduced the Fair Care for the Uninsured Act of 2001 in the House, while Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

The credit is available to uninsured Americans, specifically those who:

  • do not participate in a tax-subsidized employer health plan or Medicaid
  • do not receive VA or Indian health benefits
  • are not eligible for Medicare
  • are not in prison
  • live in the US at least half the year

Individuals are free to choose their own benefits and cost-sharing features, according to Bureau of National Affairs. The credit can be used with a Medical Savings Account.

Although the bill largely mirrors one proposed last session, this one includes:

  • a provision to protect against employers dropping health insurance coverage
  • a requirement that states establish high-risk pools to provide an insurance option for individuals with health problems who have trouble finding affordable coverage on their own (28 states already have these)

The bill also authorizes federal funding to reimburse states for the costs of administering high-risk pools.

– Nevin Adams       

You can read a summary of the bill at: