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White House Health Unveils Care Reform Proposal

February 22, 2010 - by Eric Naing

President Obama has released his own health care reform proposal in advance of Thursday’s big health care summit with congressional leaders.

As expected, the White House is proposing a number of changes to the Senate’s health care bill (H.R.3590). The plan is for the House to pass the Senate bill and for the Senate to amend its bill through the reconciliation process, which would require only 50 votes.

One new idea put forth by the president is to give Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the authority to monitor and block certain health insurance rate increases. The idea comes in response to California insurance company Anthem Blue Cross’s decision to increase its premiums by 39 percent in some cases.

Obama also would strip the Senate bill of Sen. Ben Nelson’s [D, NE] “cornhusker kickback” in which the government would have picked up the tab for Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion. Instead, the government will simply provide more Medicaid dollars to all states.

You can read Obama’s proposal here and stay tuned to OpenCongress for a more in-depth look at it coming soon.

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