President Obama couldn’t convince Republicans to take up his health reform proposals, but he has vowed to plow ahead anyway. Here’s where he’s going with the latest plan.
- Elimination of the special deal for Nebraska calling for the federal government to pay the full cost of a Medicaid expansion for that state. Instead, the President proposed that federal government help all states absorb the cost of the Medicaid expansion from 2014 until 2017.
- Delaying the excise tax on so-called “Cadillac plans” until 2018 for all taxpayers, not just union members. Still, the excise tax remains a key part of the proposal.
- No “public option.” There is no attempt to revive the idea of a government-backed insurance plan to compete with the private sector.
- Less restrictive language on abortion. The proposal drops the “Stupak amendment,” which would bar insurers from offering abortion coverage to anyone buying a policy with a federal subsidy.
- Keeping the tax on upper-income individuals and families. The Obama approach supprts the increase in Medicare payroll tax for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples earning more than $250,000.
- State-based insurance exchanges. That’s different from the House proposal for a national exchange.
- Lower eligibility for Medicaid. The figure released in the meeting with Republicans set eligibility at 133% of the federal poverty level, instead of the House proposal of 150% of the poverty level.
- Limiting health-premium costs according to income. Under the plan, a family earning about $88,000 a year would pay no more than 9.5% of income toward annual health insurance premiums. Out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments or deductibles, would have to be paid separately and wouldn’t be included in the 9.5%.
Go the the White House Web site to see the full plan.