January 17, 2006
Voinovich introducing plan to increase health insurance
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON Sen. George Voinovich,
R-Cleveland, will join in introducing legislation today that would
help fund states' efforts to provide health insurance for the
If the bill wins approval in
Congress, it could provide an incentive to states to develop
innovative health plans to benefit more than 45 million Americans
who lack health insurance, proponents say.
Some states - including Maine,
Massachusetts and Vermont - already have created health-care plans
that provide subsidies for low-income people.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
proposed his own plan last week to expand the state's Medicaid
program for the poor, provide subsidies and tax employers who
don't offer health insurance.
The legislation Voinovich is
supporting would become part of other anticipated efforts to
expand health coverage, including a proposal that President Bush
reportedly is considering to provide tax credits to people
purchasing their own health insurance.
A legislative aide who discussed the
pending legislation on condition she not be identified said Ohio
officials also could come up with a plan and seek federal funding
for it if the legislation passes.
Under the proposal, which will be
introduced in the House and Senate, a bipartisan state commission
would review health-care plans that individual states, groups of
states or portions of states submit.
After reviewing the plans, the
commission would recommend several to Congress for federal
States receiving grants would have to
report on their progress. After five years, the commission would
issue its own report to Congress.