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It’s Really Here – Now What

Saturday nights passage of the over $1.1 TRILLION House healthcare Bill marks a milestone in the in the reform process.  Who would have thought we would get this far?  Truth be told, I did.  While this is not the bill I would ultimately support, it’s a giant step forward in the process to transform and fix our healthcare system to guarantee access to healthcare for everyone…

Some highlights of the House Bill include:

— A national health plan option with specific benefit levels that would also apply to the private insurance markets. 

— An insurance “exchange” that would provide for a more efficient process for the purchase of insurance.

— A tax on income over $500,000 for individuals or $1M for families. 

— An 8% payroll tax on big businesses that do not provide healthcare for their employees. 

— An individual mandate for all Americans to carry insurance.

— A new process for removing waste and fraud from the current system along with a new approach to look at how we spend our money (comparative effectiveness).

On the cost reduction side, this version of the bill looks similar to the versions in the Senate – VAGUE on the details.   Its very scary to me that so much of these bills are based on how we are going to save money yet we have no meaningful road map on specifically where the money will be found.  We should all be demanding more answers.  We have plenty of information on new services and taxes/assessments which in my opinion are a good (if not aggressive first step). 

Stay tuned and keep listening.  There is going to be lots of activity.  The Senate debate is predicted to take much longer.  The discussion/debate is going to be much tougher and more difficult.  Many in Congress who voted “yes” on the House Bill view the Senate process as their only chance to fix the flaws in this current expensive bill.

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