Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Applauds House for Passage of ICARE Program

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, February 01, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Fletcher today applauded the House for passage of HB 445, the administration’s response to small business insurance. Known as Insurance Coverage, Affordability and Relief to (small) Employers, or ICARE, this program will provide incentives to eligible employers who provide and maintain insurance coverage for their employees.

“This is an important step in supporting small business, our economic engine, in their ability to provide and maintain affordable health insurance coverage,” said Governor Fletcher. “I am disappointed, however, that the consumer protection and cost saving measures were removed by the House committee. These were important components of the bill.”

The House Banking and Insurance Committee amended the proposal to remove some provisions, including protecting consumers against inappropriate medical billing, making health care information more accessible to consumers, and taking full advantage of the opportunities to save money in the state Medicaid program.

“While the committee’s actions weaken the legislation, the ICARE program will provide real, immediate relief across the commonwealth,” said Governor Fletcher.

The primary sponsors of HB 445 are Rep. Tommy Thompson (D-Owensboro) and Rep. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard).