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Public Option Compromise Proposals

The Senate’s ongoing healthcare negotiations focuses on an emerging public option alternative, reportedly conceived by Howard Dean, that allows the OPM to contract with private insurers to provide coverage to those whose employers do not offer healthcare benefits. The Los Angeles Times (12/8, Levey, Hook) reports that Democrats “are exploring an alternative that would authorize the federal government to contract with a commercial insurer to offer benefits to millions of Americans who do not get insurance through their work. The compromise could include an expansion of the Medicare insurance plan that would allow some Americans as young as age 55 to buy into the program.” The Sun goes on to report that “the compromise under discussion would allow the federal Office of Personnel Management, which administers health plans for federal employees, to contract with a commercial insurer for a new plan that would be available people who do not get insurance at work.”

        USA Today (12/8, Fritze) also reports that “after weeks of deadlock on the so-called public option, senators working on a compromise indicated that momentum is building for a series of alternative proposals that would include letting people under 65 buy into Medicare, the government health program for seniors. Details of that proposal, including who would be allowed in and how much it would cost enrollees, are unclear, but talk of the Medicare ‘buy-in’ approach gathered support from Democrats who have been otherwise split over the idea of a government-run insurance plan intended to compete with private insurers.” Sen. Charles Schumer “said the group is also considering raising the income threshold to allow more people into Medicaid. The bill currently would raise the threshold to $29,327 for a family of four.”

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December 8, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , , , ,

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