Thursday, February 25, 2010

Latest Health Care Proposal

Earlier this week, President Obama released a new proposal for health care reform leading up to the White House Summit on Health Reform. The proposal is largely based on the bill that passed the Senate, with some offered some modifications. The President’s proposal:
  • Does not contain a public option or a national exchange
  • Would cover 31 million of the current 45 million uninsured people in our country
  • Includes an excise tax on generous health insurance plans (those that cost $27,500 or more for a family plan). The Senate version began the tax at $23,000.
  • Would raise Medicaid eligibility to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or $29,326.50 for a family of four.
  • Includes strong new provisions for federal oversight of insurance premium increases and help to states in enforcing and monitoring insurance markets.
  • Provides immediate assistance to beneficiaries who hit the Medicare donut hole in 2010 and close the hole completely by 2020
  • Strikes a compromise between the House and Senate bills on subsidies to help families afford insurance, as well as the percentage of medical costs that families would be expected to pay
  • Extends insurance market protections – like prohibitions on annual and lifetime limits and bans on pre-existing condition exclusions – to the older insurance plans and requires those plans to cover proven preventive services with no cost-sharing
The next step is for Congress and the President to come together at the summit, taking place today. The goal of the summit is to come to an agreement so that health care reform can move forward.

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