Corker Joins Sen. DeMint to Introduce Health Care Choice Act

Dec 13, 2007

Bob Corker has signed on as an original cosponsor of the “Health Care Choice Act” which will empower Americans to purchase affordable health insurance policies sold nationwide by using the internet and other means. Currently, individuals are forced to purchase only the health plans available in their state, even if a neighboring state has more affordable and flexible plans. The Health Care Choice Act was introduced today by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), and a companion bill was introduced in the House yesterday by U.S. Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ).

“I find it incredible that in our global economy Americans are forbidden from purchasing a health insurance policy from another state,” said Corker. “This bill is another step towards making health insurance more affordable for all Americans and all Tennesseans, including the 800,000 citizens of our state who currently lack coverage entirely.”

“Americans should be free to buy the health plan of their choice, one that is affordable and meets their family’s needs,” said DeMint. “Unfortunately, today Americans are forbidden from purchasing plans from other states that may be less expensive and more flexible. One of the best ways to reign-in out of control health care costs is to break down state-imposed barriers to affordable health insurance. Health care providers should have to compete and Americans should have the right to choose the best plan for them."

The Health Care Choice Act, which was introduced yesterday in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ), would reform the individual health insurance market by allowing individuals and families who reside in one state to buy a more affordable health insurance plan in another state. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, a 25-year-old male in good health could purchase a policy for $960 a year in Kentucky. A similar policy would cost about $5,880 in New Jersey. 

Also, according to the Institute of Medicine, most adults who do not have health insurance cite the high cost as the reason. Specifically, state health insurance mandates are driving up the cost of coverage for millions of Americans. In 1965, there were only seven state health insurance benefit mandates. Today, there are more than 1,800. In some places, this has helped create a market where rates can be as much as 75 percent higher in neighboring states.

The Heath Care Choice Act will allow Americans to purchase a basic, low-cost policy without hundreds of benefit mandates they don’t need. Likewise, those Americans who are interested in a particular benefit would be allowed to do that as well.  Furthermore, this proposal will help the uninsured find affordable health insurance, while also providing every American with better health insurance choices.

“This bill brings us one step closer to a patient-centered healthcare system that is geared for the future,” said DeMint. “Americans will be able to pick policies with the benefits they really need and won’t be forced to pay for things they don’t need.”

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