This week President Obama released his proposal for health system reform. The proposal would cost $950 billion over 10 years, which is about $75 billion more than the cost of the Senate bill, but under the more than $1 trillion cost of the House bill. Provisions contained in the bill will be further discussed during this week’s televised bipartisan health reform summit.
- Does not include a public option;
- Would delay until 2018 an excise tax on high-cost insurance policies and raise the threshold for the tax for families from $24,500 to $27,500;
- Would provide more tax subsidies for low- and moderate-income U.S. residents to help them purchase insurance, while enacting larger penalties on employers that fail to provide health benefits;
- Would implement new, stricter measures to address waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare;
- Would delay the implementation of taxes on various health care industry players, and change fees on medical device manufacturers to an excise tax;
- Eliminates the so-called "Cornhusker Kickback" in the Senate bill, which would have covered the full cost of a Medicaid expansion in Nebraska;
- Fully close the "doughnut hole" for the Medicare prescription drug benefit by 2020 — the Senate bill would have narrowed it by 50%; and
- Would limit federal funding for the coverage of abortion services.