US House Democrats Release Their Health Care Bill

October 29, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the House’s version of the health-care reform legislation Thursday, unveiling a bill that merged together key aspects of the three bills that had passed the House in the summer.with  The reforms, which include raising Medicaid eligibility levels to 150 percent of the federal poverty level and negotiated government health-care rates, would cover some 96 percent of Americans compared with 83 percent now, cost just below $900 billion dollars over a ten-year period, and will not increase the budget deficit for two decades. The bill would actually supposedly cut the deficit by about $30 billion over the next 10 years.  The $900 billion price tag is reduced from the previous cost of $1.04 trillion thanks to the Medicaid expansion, which is more cost-effective for covering the poor than subsidies would be.Unveiling the bill at the Capitol, Pelosi said the bill would meet the goals of “affordability of the middle class, security for our seniors, responsibility to our children. It reduces the deficit, meets President Obama’s call to keep the costs under $900 billion over 10 years and it insures 36 million more Americans.”

For weeks, Pelosi had been pushing for a “robust” public option that would reimburse hospitals and doctors at Medicare rates. But conservative Blue Dogs and others from rural states insisted that they would only support a public insurance option if it negotiates rates with health care providers like any private insurer.  A plan Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said his Senate bill would also include.  The House bill includes higher penalties on businesses that don’t provide insurance for their employees, and individuals who don’t get coverage could face a penalty of 2.5%.

But the biggest gaps to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the bill would be how to pay for it. The Senate wants to tax so-called “Cadillac” health care plans in order to fund health care reforms, the House wants to impose a surtax of 5.4% for individuals making adjusted gross incomes of over $500,000 and couples over $1 million a year to pay for a chunk of their bill as well as a new $20 billion fee on medical device makers. And of course disputes remain between Democrats and Republicans over federal money for abortion and illegal immigrants. Details of the legislation, as well as the text of the bill, is available here.



3 Responses to “US House Democrats Release Their Health Care Bill”

  1. House Health Reform Bill Reduces Deficit, Says CBO | ChattahBox News Blog on October 29th, 2009 9:51 pm

    […] after the House leadership, led by Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled its merged health care bill on Thursday, CBO chief Doug Elmendorf released a preliminary score of the bill, and […]

  2. cable on November 16th, 2009 2:22 am

    This is an excellent article. I usually don’t post on blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! I will add and bookmark your site.

  3. r4i on November 16th, 2009 2:48 am

    I am looking forward to seeing the alternative bill. Wanna bet it will be less than 500 pages?

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