Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Primary sources on the Senate bill

Read the 2,074 page bill here. The Hill got its hands on a short summary here, and then a white paper on the reforms that go into effect immediately here. What we really need to understand the legislation is a section-by-section summary, but there isn't one available yet. Oh for the plain language favored by the Senate Finance Committee...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 10:00 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Health-care reform will not be remembered for its price tag
Next: Health-care reform's grand bargain


While it is 14 pages, the Table of Contents is mostly just Section headers that actually give a good summary of the full Act; that's what, .7% of the total pages, not bad... But few figures.

Posted by: kkrahel | November 18, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse


-Lack of immediate banning of pre-existing condition discrimination. For something that has been emphasized so much until now, I am surprised this is not immediate. This is partially fixed with the federal insurance plan for those individuals, and actually may be eventually beneficial as it gets them out of the system.

-The lowest coverage rate (the "bronze plan") is only at 60%.

Surprises :

-Subsidies for up to 400% of poverty.

-Seemingly a national public plan with an opt-out.

Some catches :

On page 159 we have the passage about large employers gaining access to the exchanges. Basically, starting in 2017 it is the decision of the state to allow other large companies into the exchange. On the next page it is explicitly stated that illegal immigrants cannot have access, which was expected.

Page 240 has the applicable percentage of premiums to a person's salary as 2.8% + some percentage less than 7% as a function of the person's income relative to the federal poverty line.

Page 261 states the affordability requirements as a percentage of the poverty line. For 100-200% of FPL (federal poverty line) decreased by 2/3 (with respect to the 90% coverage platinum plan), for 200-300% of FPL decreased by 1/2 (with respect to the 80% coverage gold plan), and 300-400% decreased by 1/3. I am imagining that this is with respect to the additive 7%, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: mayorm | November 19, 2009 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the immediate reforms:

-The exchange has now been delayed to 2014 but the tax provisions start earlier.

-The $5 billion high risk pool is sure to run out of money in a year or two.

-What is the point of a $500 reduction in the donut hole for one year only (2010)? Presumably it's too get Democrats re-elected, but I doubt if senior's votes can be had so cheaply. Lame.

-As visionbrkr pointed out, why do the MLR requirements sunset and why are they so weak?

Posted by: bmull | November 19, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Here's what I would do to improve this bill:

#1 Properly index subsidies to inflation. (Why is this so hard?)

#2 Increase actuarial value across the board.

#3 Do something bold on cost control to show the >400%FPL folks that reform wasn't a total loss for them.

Posted by: bmull | November 19, 2009 5:50 AM | Report abuse

So much for the 'dream' still being alive. Both parties are wholly controlled by corporate America. This bill affirms that the only reason for every citizens existence is to increase corporate profits.

Posted by: par4 | November 19, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse


my state of NJ for example while liberal is already PAST what this reform is on MLR's (we're 80% across the board) and our costs are currently running at an 85% MLR so the administration is basically saying that insurers in NJ can make MORE profit. Exactly how does that reform NJ's system.

I agree with much of what you say but when the White House comes out pushing the passing of the doc fix its a shell game plain and simple. They claim to want cost control but purposefully push measures that are ANTI cost control as this. More failed promises from an administration that claimed to be "change we can believe in". I've just gotta say Mr President when you say that you want to make this affordable, "YOU LIE". You want to regain my trust, end the talk of the doc fix. Supposedly it'll come up for a vote in the house today. I'll be interested to see how that does.

I'm happy that the tax on high end plans remained and they stood up to idiotic unions that don't understand how healthcare works and this bill is to me at least better than the status quo but there is so much more that they could have done. Again I liken it to the TARP and the government not going far enough for the American people. Then on bailouts and now on cost control.

Posted by: visionbrkr | November 19, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company