The House bill covers more people, is more affordable, and is just as deficit neutral as the Finance billPosted on October 16th, 2009 by Jason Rosenbaum in Solutions that Work
Congressional budget analysts have given House leaders cost estimates for two competing versions of their plan to overhaul the health-care system, concluding that one comes within striking distance of the $900 billion limit set by President Obama and the other falls below it.
House leaders have been working to lower the cost of the $1.2 trillion health-care package they offered in July. The report from the Congressional Budget Office, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, puts the cost of one plan at $859 billion over the next decade and the other at $905 billion.
Both packages are based on the original House framework, which proposes to extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans by expanding Medicaid eligibility and subsidizing private insurance for people who lack access to affordable coverage through an employer. Each would expand the ranks of the insured to more than 95 percent of Americans by 2019, and each would create a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurance companies.
As a refresher, the bill being considered in the House is a much better bill than what Finance passed on Tuesday. It has a public health insurance option, it asks employers to pitch in their fair share, it is fairly financed, and it has much more generous subsidies (read: tax credits) to make health care affordable for everyone.
So, why, with all that good stuff in there, does it look like the will CBO say the House bill still covers millions more people and costs just as much, while remaining deficit neutral? Because things like employer responsibility, fair financing, and the public health insurance option save money.
That's right. The public option saves money. The CBO has said so before, and it looks like they're saying it again.
Combine that with raising money by taxing households that make over $350,000 per year instead of the middle class, and asking employers to chip in for their employees health care, and you've suddenly got a lot more money to work with. Which means you can give middle class people more generous subsidies than the anemic Finance bill. Which means you and I won't be on the hook for 16.5% of our income paid towards health care costs, the level a typical middle class family would have to pay under the Finance bill.
Plus, you get a bill that increases competition, keeps the insurance industry honest, and gets us out from under the insurance industry's monopoly. Health Care for America Now released a TV ad promoting the public option today:
Here's the bottom line: A good health care bill - fairly financed with a public health insurance option - is more fiscally responsible. Those that support being more fiscally responsible should support these ideas.