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Very Good Legal Analysis and resource-heath Care Reform Blog
Original post made
by Law Student, Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 7, 2009
House Democrats Issue Revised Health Care Reform Bill
Posted on July 15, 2009 by Anne Hance
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives issued on July 14, 2009, a revised health care reform bill: America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.
A whopping 1,018 pages long, the draft legislation addresses many of the key topics relating to health care reform, including the following:
• Medicare and Medicaid reforms
• Creation of health insurance exchanges in local service area, all of which would include a public plan option
• Provisions to promote preventive and wellness services
• Measures to improve efforts to combat fraud, waste and abuse
The revised bill also includes new provisions, such as a proposed tax on self-insured health plans, to fund the proposed health care reform.
Click here for a description of the legislation, released in conjunction with the bill.
Click here for a section-by-section summary of the bill.
Click here for a document comparing this July 14, 2009, bill to the initial draft bill issued by House Democrats on June 17, 2009. Click here for a summary of top-line changes between the June 17, 2009, and July 14, 2009, versions of the legislation.
Click here for additional information about the proposed legislation, including descriptive documents released in connection with the bill, that is available on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce website.
Click here for a timeline in which the proposed legislation would be implemented.
Click here for the Congressional Budget Office's preliminary analysis of the legislation's cost.
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Posted by Ron
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2009 at 12:09 am
The key principles of legislation include, among other things:
Increasing choice and competition. First, the bill will protect and improve consumers' choices.
•If an individual likes their current plan, they will be able to keep it.
•For individuals who either aren't currently covered, or wanted to enroll in a new health care plan, the proposal will establish a health care exchange where consumers can select from a menu of affordable, quality health care options: either a new public health insurance plan or a plan offered by private insurers. People will have similar choices that members of Congress have.
•This new marketplace will reduce costs, create competition that leads to better care for every American, and keep private insurers honest. Patients and doctors will have control over decisions about their health care, instead of insurance companies.
Giving Americans peace of mind. Second, the legislation will ensure that Americans have portable, secure health care plans - so that they won't lose care if their employer drops their plan or they lose their job.
•Every American who receives coverage through the exchange will have a plan that includes standardized, comprehensive and quality health care benefits.
•It will end increases in premiums or denials of care based on pre-existing conditions, age, race, or gender.
•The proposal will also eliminate co-pays for preventative care, cap out-of-pocket expenses, and guarantee catastrophic coverage that protects every American from bankruptcy.
Improving quality of care for every American. Third, the legislation will ensure that Americans of all ages, from young children to retirees have access to greater quality of care by focusing on prevention, wellness, and strengthening programs that work.
•Guarantees that every child in America will have health care coverage that includes dental and vision benefits.
•Provides better preventative and wellness care. Every health care plan offered through the exchange will cover preventative care.
•Grows the health care workforce to ensure that more doctors and nurses are available to provide quality care as more Americans get coverage.
•Strengthens Medicare and Medicaid so that seniors and low-income Americans receive better quality of care and see lower prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
Ensuring shared responsibility. Fourth, the bill will ensure that individuals, employers, and the federal government all share responsibility for a quality and affordable health care system.
•Employers who currently offer coverage will be able to continue offering coverage to workers. Employers who don't currently offer coverage could choose to cover their workers or pay a penalty.
•All individuals would be required to get coverage, either through their employer or the exchange, or pay a penalty.
•The federal government will provide affordability credits, available on a sliding scale for low- and middle-income individuals and families to make premiums affordable and reduce cost-sharing.
Protecting consumers and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse. Fifth, the legislation will put the interests of consumers first, protect them from any problems in getting and keeping health care coverage, and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.
•Provides complete transparency in plans in the health exchange so that consumers have the clear, complete information needed to select the plan that best meets their needs.
•Establishes Consumer Advocacy Offices as part of the exchange in order to protect consumers, answer questions, and assist with any problems related to their plans.
•Will identify and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse by simplifying paperwork and other administrative burdens. Patients, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, providers, and employers will all encounter a streamlined, less confusing, more consumer friendly system.