Saturday, November 28, 2009

Senate Health Care Bill

I haven't had time lately to really research the health care bill, but I am going to make an effort to do that in the coming weeks.

NYTimes article "Obama Backs Senate on Health Bills' Disparities"
The current price tag of the health care of the Senate is $848 billion over 10 years. It's hard to understand what this means, though, because I'm not sure what our current trajectory costs. They say that the costs will not add to the deficit. But how much does it add to the deficit if we don't pass the health bill? I have a hard time believing it's zero.

Anyway, there are now four pillars of the health care bill

1. cadillac plans' excise tax
2. not adding to the deficit
3. Medicare commission
4. promote "delivery system reforms" for high quality care vs high quantity care

Labor unions are against the excise tax on expensive plans. Here is some more information on what it would do.
The Senate bill would impose an excise tax of 40 percent on the cost of employer-sponsored insurance policies above $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families. It provides for increasing those thresholds by $1,350 for individuals and $3,000 for families in cases where workers are in “a high-risk profession or employed to install electrical or telecommunications lines.” And there would be an additional increase in the thresholds, by the same amounts, in the 17 states where health insurance is most expensive.

More later on what these really all mean.

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