Fox news reported that the new House Bill will be formally announced tomorrow morning. The bill does contain many of Obama’s wishes and the resultant costs:
“..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.”
A floor vote on the combined bill is expected as early as next week. Then only the merging of the House and Senate bills remain before final votes in both houses and a signature by the President.
Pelosi didn’t get everything she wanted:
“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.”
The original liberal House bill, H.R.3200 used the Medicare fee schedules to pay doctors. As it stands many physicians won’t accept Medicare due to the unfair prices within in the fee schedule. The only way most providers survive is to pass the costs on to insurance carrying patients. Basically, medicare’s unfair pricing forces insurance companies to subsidize the government… and it’s still in the red. Perhaps these subsidies are why insurance companies see some of the most minuscule profits of any industry (less than 5% in most cases and the larger insurers no more than 6%).
As a final blow to state’s rights, the bill forces the states to take on a larger financial burden by increasing the size of Medicaid. As is the case now, it will most-likely be an underfunded mandate – only bigger.