New Obama Health Plan

The new health care reform bill is out from President Obama, the first plan fully embraced by the White House since this debate began. Basically, this plan tracks the bill approved by the Senate, adding in certain provisions from the House and a few modifications by the White House.

Officials on a conference call with reporters this morning labeled it an "opening bid" for this week's Health Care Summit on Thursday with Republicans.

The new plan does not have a public insurance option, despite a lot of talk about it in recent days.

The excise tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance is in this bill, with a slightly higher threshhold for where it kicks in.  But it would not take effect until 2018.

The penalties for employers who have more than 50 workers and do not provide health insurance coverage would go from $750 in the Senate bill to $2,000.

Also not in this bill, the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" won by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) in the Senate bill.

As for how much it will all cost, officials sidestepped a direct answer on that, saying that all of the changes are paid for, and that the plan will not increase the deficit.  That most likely won't wash with critics on the GOP side.

Here are the basics from a White House news release.   I will have more throughout the day as we start to go through the bill.
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THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL February 22, 2010

    The

President's Proposal bridges the gap between the House and Senate bills and

includes new provisions to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse.   

It

includes a targeted set of changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable

Care Act, the Senate-passed health insurance reform bill.  The President's Proposal reflects policies

from the House-passed bill and the President's priorities.  Key changes include: 

Eliminating the Nebraska FMAP provision and providing

significant additional Federal financing to all States for the expansion of

Medicaid;


Closing the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole"

coverage gap;


Strengthening the Senate bill's provisions that make

insurance affordable for individuals and families;


Strengthening the provisions to fight fraud, waste,

and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid;


Increasing the threshold for the excise tax on the

most expensive health plans from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500 and starting it

in 2018 for all plans;


Improving insurance protections for consumers and

creating a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to provide Federal assistance

and oversight to States in conducting reviews of unreasonable rate increases

and other unfair practices of insurance plans.

The new health care reform bill is out from President Obama, the first plan fully embraced by the White House since this debate began. Basically, this plan tracks the bill approved by the Senate, adding in certain provisions from the House and a few modifications by the White House.Officials on ...

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