Alex Blaze

House committees release health care plan

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 15, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Congress, health care reform, public option, reform, socialized medicine

Late yesterday the House released its plan for health care, and it's pretty good. It includes all the popular initiatives: a public option, subsidies for low-income households, a health care exchange for small businesses and people who go it alone, comparative effectiveness research, funding for primary care doctors as well as other high need medical professionals, expansion of Medicaid, an individual and employer mandate, an attempt to eliminate eligibility and rating discrimination, and funding for public health improvement measures. All good stuff, and they've taken steps to ensure affordability, which was the main complaint about Massachusetts's universal health care program. If that public option is strong, that should also take a big bite out of rising health care costs.

Most of this will go into effect in 2013 if it gets passed this year, except for the ban on rescission (where a health care company looks for excuses to cut your coverage if you get an expensive disease), which will go into effect in 2010. As for funding, the public option is supposed to be self-sufficient, while other provisions in the bill will be funded through cuts to and savings from Medicare and Medicaid as well as taxes on people making over $350,000. The Congressional Budget Office pegs this at costing a little over $1 trillion over 10 years and covering 97% of American residents.

You can read the full text in pdf, the summary sheet, and Ezra Klein's take, in which he provides a brief summary of many of the particular aspects of this bill.

This should be a really, really exciting day as the health care wonks work over this bill.

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Rick Sours | July 16, 2009 2:49 PM

Health care is a real concern of a great many
Americans. It is shocking the number of individuals
who can not afford health insurance, including many
who are working full time. Something really needs to be done to address this issue. This all takes
money. On a very personal it is troubling to see
the amount of money certain groups, who say them are for families and children, spend on for example
on anti-Gay issues. In California, the other side
spend 40 million dollars to promote Proposition 8.
Just think what 40 million dollars could have done
if spent on issues relating to childrens' health!!
In the Tampa area recently 38 thousand dollars was spent for an anti-Gay television ad. This simply does not make any sense to me. In closing, health care needs to be addressed.