Four congressional committees have approved healthcare-reform bills. Here’s what’s been OK’d so far.
The approved stipulations are sure to be blended with and modified by other bills being considered, but here’s what’s on the table right now
- How much it’ll cost: $1.5 trillion spread over 10 years.
- How it’ll be paid for: $500 billion from cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, $580 billion in taxes, $200 billion in employer penalties for not providing coverage.
- Employer requirements: Except for small businesses — with annual payrolls of less than $500,000 — employers must provide health coverage.
- Employee requirements: Must have coverage or face a tax penalty, with exemptions for hardship.
- Who’s eligible for subsidies for coverage: Starting on 2013, those with incomes of up to 400% of the poverty level.
- What types of benefits coverage will provide: Hospitalization, doctor visits, prescriptions; no denials for preexisting conditions.
- How plans can be chosen: A National Health Insurance Exchange.
- Government plan: Available through the exchange.
- Uniform changes to Medicaid: The program will be available to all with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level, instead of leaving eligibility requirements up to the state.