Here’s what the House Dems plan (straight from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s press conference):
The final product in the House, reflecting many of President Barack Obama’s priorities, includes new requirements for employers to offer insurance to their workers or face penalties, fines on Americans who don’t purchase coverage and subsidies to help lower-income people do so. Insurance companies would face new prohibitions against charging much more to older people or denying coverage to people with health conditions.
The price tag, topping $1 trillion over 10 years, would be paid for by taxing high-income people and cutting some $500 billion in payments to Medicare providers. The legislation would extend health coverage to around 95 percent of Americans.
That’s in contrast to the 90 percent of Americans (excluding illegal immigrants) currently covered. Except that we”ll be $1 trillion further in the hole, all taken out of the hides of those “high-income” folks plus Grandma and Grandpa.
There’s a silver lining in every cloud, so here’s the silver lining in th House bill:
In the end, Pelosi, D-Calif., and other House leaders were unable to round up the necessary votes for their preferred version of the government insurance plan – one that would base payment rates to providers on rates paid by Medicare. Instead, the Health and Human Services secretary would negotiate rates with providers, the approach preferred by moderates and the one that will be featured in the Senate’s version.
That marked a defeat for liberal lawmakers, who argued for months that a public insurance plan tied to Medicare would save more money for the government, and offer cheaper rates to consumers. Moderates feared that doctors, hospitals and other providers, particularly those in rural states, would be hurt, and in the end they looked poised to prevail, despite constituting a distinct minority in the 256-member House Democratic caucus.
Call it a tarnished silver lining.