Here's the New Senate Health Care Bill
Reid's bill includes a national, government-run insurance plan that would be available to consumers within the health insurance exchanges that the reform effort establishes. States could opt out of the plan.
On abortion: [More...]
The Senate bill does not go as far as the House bill does in restricting access to abortion. The House bill would block a woman's ability to purchase health insurance that covers abortion even with her own money in many instances. The Senate package, several senators said, makes crystal clear that no federal funds could be used to pay for abortion. But at least one plan within the exchange would have to offer abortion coverage -- and one plan would not.
On taxing the rich:
Instead of taxing the rich to pay for a significant piece of the bill, as the House does, the Senate plan would tax "Cadillac" health plans. But the value of plans that would be taxed is higher than in previous versions: $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family of four. Even higher values are allowed in high-cost states and workers in high-risk jobs -- such as coal miners -- are given an exemption.
On cost and coverage:
Reid on Wednesday also presented to his colleagues a preliminary Congressional Budget Office analysis, which finds that the bill will cost $849 billion over the next decade. It would cover 94 percent of eligible Americans, including 31 million currently uninsured Americans. The bill would also lower the federal budget deficit by $127 billion over the next decade and by $650 billion during the decade after that. Kerry cautioned that the numbers were still being finalized and could change slightly.
Update: The AP reports the bill would raise the Medicare payroll tax on those earning more than $200k a year.
Current law sets the Medicare payroll tax at 1.45 percent of income. Under the legislation, it would rise by half a percentage point on individual income over $200,000 a year and $250,000 for couples.
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