Senate Bill Has 60 Votes; Reduces Deficit $132 Billion Over 10 Years
Ben Nelson will sign on to the heath care reform bill which the Congressional Budget Office say will bring down the deficit by $132 billion over ten years, and by $1.3 trillion over 20 years. Here are some key changes:
– Holding Insurers Accountable: Insurers in large group market have to maintain a medical loss ration of 85%. Insurers in the small group market have to maintain a medical loss ration of 80%. Insurance companies who jack up their rates will be barred from competing in the exchange.
– Regulations For Children: Starting immediately children cannot be denied health coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
– Nonprofit Insurers Excluded From Tax: Nonprofit insurers are excluded from the tax on the insurance industry.
– Employers Can Offer Vouchers: Individuals and families under 400% of the federal poverty line who receive employer-sponsored coverage and spend 8-9.8% of their income on premiums, could “convert their tax-free employer health subsidies into vouchers that they can use to choose a health insurance plan in the new health insurance exchanges.
– Changes To Medicare Commission: The Medicare Commission will now examine the effect programs have on National Health Expenditures and will be prohibited from increasing premiums. The committee will make non binding recommendations if the Medicare spending rate is below or on target.
– New Choice Of Coverage From Nonprofits: Individuals could enroll in a national health insurance plan managed by the Office of Personnel Management, the same entity that oversees health plans for Members of Congress.
– Investment In Community Health Centers/Rural Areas: A substantial investment in Community Health Centers and more funding for rural health care providers and training programs for physician and other types of health care providers.
– Expands Small Business Tax Credit: The credits begin a year earlier – in 2010 and small businesses are eligible for up to six years. The wage thresholds for small business tax credits is also increased.
– Satisfying Gun Owners: Does not require individuals to disclose whether they own a gun. Gun ownership cannot be factored into premiums or coverage decisions.
– New Taxes: Increases the payroll tax on high income earners from 0.5% to 0.9%; the tax begins in 2013. A 10% tax is imposed on indoor tanning services and the ‘botox tax’ is removed.Click here for reuse options!
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