The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 2, 2004

Making Health Care More Affordable
Fact Sheet: President Bush's Plan to Make Health Care More Affordable

President Bush believes all Americans should have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Rising health care costs impose a burden on families and small businesses and put coverage out of the reach of many Americans. The President's plan will help reduce the rising cost of health care; provide new and affordable health coverage options for all Americans; and provide not just a government program, but a path to greater opportunity, more freedom, and more control over your own health care and your own future.

The President's Plan

New Proposals in the President's Plan

Background: A Record of Action on Health Care

The President has already taken important steps to make health care more affordable and accessible:

The President's New Health Care Proposals

Cover the Kids Campaign

Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) give workers the opportunity to save tax-free for routine expenses, the security of insurance against major illness, and the freedom of knowing you can take your account with you whenever you change jobs. Last year, President Bush signed legislation creating tax-free Health Savings Accounts - a new option in coverage which will give millions of Americans access to affordable health care. These accounts can reduce health insurance premiums for families by thousands of dollars annually.

How HSAs Work

The President's Plan to Extend Benefits of HSAs to Low-income Americans
To extend the benefits of HSAs to low-income families and individuals, the President proposes giving low-income families a $1,000 contribution made directly to their HSA, along with a $2,000 refundable tax credit to help purchase a policy to cover major medical expenses.

President Bush's Plan to Extend the Benefits of HSAs to Small Business Employees and the Self-Employed More than half of the uninsured are small business employees and their families. Small businesses face obstacles in providing health benefits including high costs, complicated regulations, and a lack of bargaining power with insurance companies. The President's plan helps them make contributions to their employees' HSAs in a cost-effective way.

Expanded AHPs and a National Marketplace for Health Insurance

To make health care coverage more affordable and accessible to all Americans, we must give Americans more choices in how they buy their health insurance.

Most people get their health insurance through their jobs. Yet more than half of the uninsured are small-business employees and their families.

To ensure that employees of small businesses also get coverage, the President wants small businesses to have the same bargaining power as large companies. He has called on Congress to pass Association Health Plans (AHPs), which allow small businesses to band together through trade and professional associations to purchase more affordable health insurance for workers and their families.

The President also proposes to expand the concept of AHPs to allow private, non-profit, multi-State entities to band together to offer coverage to their members, outside the workplace. In addition, the President envisions transforming the health care marketplace to make it easier for all Americans to shop for affordable coverage.

Expanded Association Health Plans

National Marketplace for Health Insurance


Return to this article at:

Click to print this document