For Immediate Release:                                                               Contact: Kate Pomeroy
January 31, 2007                                                                            202-349-5793 or
                                                                                                     [email protected]

Washington, D.C.- A 5-point program to reform the nation’s health care system based on ownership, choice, and increased individual control over personal healthcare decisions is being released by the Independent Women’s Forum. The report, entitled Five Ways to Improve Healthcare for Women, was undertaken by the IWF, a non-partisan group that studies women’s issues, because women make the majority of health care decisions in the U.S and because many women recognize that our flawed, one-size-fits-all system does not, in fact, fit them.

The IWF report calls upon policymakers to “help alleviate the unease in the current healthcare system and prevent a further increase in the number of Americans without health insurance,” through the adoption of five reforms:

  • Reform the tax treatment of health insurance: Today’s tax code provides unlimited tax breaks for those who obtain coverage from the workplace but does not extend any comparable tax benefit to those who purchase coverage on their own. The way to solve this problem is through a refundable, advanceable tax credit to individuals who purchase coverage on their own.

  • Expand coverage options: Individuals should have the freedom to decide the state and regulatory structure under which they purchase their health coverage.

  • Improve consumer-directed models: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other affordable alternative health insurance products should be available.

  • Allow for greater employee-employer flexibility: Employers would have the option of moving from a defined-benefit system, where the employer sponsors a health plan, to a defined-contribution system, where the employer chooses to contribute to a worker’s own health plan.

  • Reform healthcare entitlement programs: There is no doubt that current entitlement programs threaten to bankrupt our country. Policymakers can start by beginning to transform these entitlements,in this case, Medicare and Medicaid–from defined-benefit to defined-contribution programs along the lines found in the employer based pension system.

For more information or to schedule an interview with an IWF expert, please call Kate Pomeroy at 202-349-5889 or [email protected].