Langevin Announces Health Care Bill

October 31, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced his legislative proposal to reform the nation's health care system.

A House of Representatives  press release said The American Health Benefits Program (AHBP) is based on the existing Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and would offer affordable health insurance to all Americans.   The Federal health program uses a system of managed competition to offer members a range of privately administered health plans from which to choose.   Langevin’s plan would leverage the negotiating power of the federal government to extend this program to all Americans.

According to the press release, the government would provide a defined contribution to be used for every enrollee’s premium and plans will compete for enrollees on the basis of benefits as well as efficiency, service and price.

In addition, Langevin’s plan includes a new option for participation by businesses. Under Langevin’s proposal, employers can continue negotiating plans and offering health insurance as a benefit or they may choose to participate in the system by contributing to the financing of AHBP through a fixed, predictable and mandatory payroll tax.

“I believe that many employers, particularly small business owners, will see the latter as a better business decision – contributing directly to the AHBP funding stream would relieve them of the hours spent negotiating with health insurance companies and the unpredictable cost increases that plague today’s health insurance environment,” said Langevin, in the announcement.

Choosing the government’s program would save on premium contributions and on the administration of health care plans for many employers, while the revenue generated from the payroll tax would help pay for the health care premiums of every participating American.

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