Ilovebenefits’s Blog

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Health Reform Costs and More

Editor’s note: It is important that we understand how health care reform is going to be paid. It is equally as important to understand what it will cost. There are differences in the bills, as the following story points out. There are also items that ‘are not included’ in the communicated number, but are nevertheless real costs.


While the public plan option — and its potential impact on private insurance — have been at the forefront of the debate over health care reform for months, advocates of universal coverage, one of the main tenets of President Barack Obama’s health reform promise, are still fighting over what they see as a perhaps even greater concern: making sure insurance is affordable, especially as opposition to an individual mandate grows in states across the country.

The generous mix of subsidies and Medicaid expansion in the House bill would cost $1.042 trillion (excluding a $239 billion fix to Medicare physician payments, which isn’t paid for), according to a recent rundown by the House Education and Labor Committee: About 60 percent to provide affordability credits that help Americans buy coverage and 35 percent in additional funding to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to strengthen the programs and get more people insured, with the rest going to tax credits for small businesses who want to offer coverage to their employees.

The Senate health committee bill, meanwhile, has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office at a little over $600 billion, but doesn’t include the Medicaid expansion. And a Senate Finance draft has been scored at less than $900 billion but likely includes a physician payment fix that’s much less ambitious than the House version.


August 19, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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