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House Health Care Reform Draft Bill

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

UPDATE: The House’s health care bill has been introduced you can read all about it and comment on it here:

H.R. 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

Today, the three House committees that have been working on a House version of a health care reform bill released a discussion draft version. Expectation was that the House bill would go further than either the Senate HELP or Senate Finance versions by including a robust public option, and that does in fact seem to be the case.

The Dow Jones Newswire has an initial report on what’s in it:

The plan would provide subsidies on a sliding scale for families up to 400% of the poverty-level, according to the outline. Those credits could be used to purchase insurance through a new government-run “exchange” that includes both private insurance and government plans.

The House proposal has huge implications for the insurance industry. Besides creating a new “public option” that would compete with private plans, it would cap out-of-pocket costs to policy-holders and prohibit insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

The draft outline released Friday by key House committees is conceptual in nature and leaves out many details, including a plan for how Congress would pay for the cost of program expansions.

Employers of all sizes would be affected by the House health-care blueprint. The plan would require firms to offer health insurance to their employees, or pay a fee of 8% of payroll, according to the outline. To avoid the fee, employer-sponsored health plans must meet minimum benefit and contribution requirements.

Individuals would be required by law to purchase health coverage, or pay a penalty of 2% of adjusted gross income above an unspecified level. The fee could be waived in cases of hardship.

UPDATE: Besides the legislative text they released earlier, the House Committee on Education and Labor has now released a slew of other informative documents:

The House Tri-Committee Health Reform Discussion Draft: Summary >>
What’s In the Health Care Reform Bill for You? >>
The Health Insurance Exchange >>
Shared Responsibility >>
Public Health Insurance Option >>
Guaranteed Benefits >>
Making Coverage Affordable >>

White House Statement on the House Discussion Draft for Health Care Reform >>
Education and Labor Chairman George Miller’s Statement >>

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