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Press Release

    Creating a Health Care Marketplace

    February 24, 2005

    Honorable George W. Bush
    President of the United States of America
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
    Washington, DC

    Dear President Bush:

    Mr. President, on February 8, 2005, you stated, “We should create a national marketplace for health insurance, so people can shop on the Internet across state lines to get high-quality coverage at lower prices. That makes sense, doesn't it? To break down barriers to create a marketplace for the consumer when it comes to health care.”

    Yes, it does.

    Advancing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for all Americans was an important first step towards bringing market discipline into our nation’s health care system. HSAs permit individuals to choose their own doctor, hospital, and treatments and save money for future medical needs. But to unleash the full power of consumers, Congress must pass legislation allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines.

    As you know, consumers are limited to the health plans that are only available in their state, which includes all the mandates and regulations imposed by their state. As a result, consumers are paying for benefits they may not want or need, and often at higher prices than consumers in neighboring states. According to the New Jersey Department of Insurance website, a family in New Jersey is charged $4,069.57 per month for a $500 deductible plan. Across the border in Pennsylvania, a family is charged $322.24 per month for a policy with a $500 deductible for similar benefits. A family in New Jersey should not have to pay $4,069.57 a month for coverage when they can use the Internet or travel to Pennsylvania and buy a product for hundreds of dollars a month less. Today’s health care system denies access to products that are available in the entire marketplace.

    We are writing to thank you for your leadership on this important issue. Your idea to create a national marketplace for health insurance will tear down the barriers to affordable coverage and give individuals the freedom to step outside their state and shop for a health plan that meets their needs. A whole new menu of health insurance products awaits them. A nationwide marketplace would force states to reexamine the excessive mandates they impose on consumers, and it will provide incentives for better health care products.

    This idea will bring immediate relief to America’s families and help millions of uninsured Americans gain access to affordable health coverage. We will strongly encourage the 109th Congress to pass such legislation, and we are pleased to support your push for a national marketplace for health insurance.

    Sincerely,

    Karen Kerrigan
    President
    SBE Council

    John Berthoud
    President & CEO
    National Taxpayers Union

    Grover Norquist
    President
    Americans For Tax Reform

    Thomas Schatz
    President
    Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

    Matt Kibbe
    President and CEO
    FreedomWorks

    Duane A. Parde
    Executive Director
    merican Legislative Exchange Council

    Robert G. de Posada
    President
    The Latino Coalition
    Hispanic Business Roundtable