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SOTU: Individual Health Plans Are Out Of Reach For Millions Of Americans

Bush said: “First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. … [F]or the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making health care affordable for more Americans.”

FACT — MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WILL BE UNABLE TO AFFORD EXPENSIVE INDIVIDUAL PLANS: Karen Pollitz, a Georgetown University researcher who co-authored a 2001 study on the individual health-insurance market for the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that people who aren’t in perfect health are largely unable to buy individual health insurance. In her study, Pollitz found that “roughly 90% of applicants in what’s known as less-than-perfect health were unable to buy individual policies at standard rates, while 37% were rejected outright.” Individual health insurers may deny coverage to people based on their medial history, or put them in “a high-risk category that it makes health coverage too expensive.” [MSN]

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