- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 15, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It’s true that “paying for expanding health coverage will be expensive” (“Baucus calls for health overhaul in ‘09,” Tuesday). Yet we could significantly reduce the number of uninsured Americans by adopting some simple approaches that won’t break the bank.

For starters, an estimated 25 percent of the 47 million Americans without health insurance are already eligible for public insurance programs like Medicaid and SCHIP.

Lawmakers should simplify enrollment procedures and cut down on the administrative steps that too often act as barriers to access.

Another five million uninsured Americans already qualify for health insurance coverage through their employers.

We could drastically cut down the number of uninsured working Americans by allowing businesses to auto-enroll employees in their health insurance programs, something the federal government already does.

BRYAN A. LIANG

MD, PHD, JD

E. Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professor

Executive Director

Institute of Health Law

Studies

California Western

School of Law

San Diego, CA

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