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White House supports national exchanges

healthteram.JPG The Wall Street Journal reports:

The White House wants to include a national health-insurance exchange in the health bill, which would give House Democrats one of their top remaining demands, according to an official involved in the discussions. At issue is who would run the new insurance exchanges that would allow consumers to comparison-shop for health coverage. The House's version of the health overhaul calls for the federal government to run a single, national exchange, while the Senate's version would let states run their own exchanges.

This is very good news. And that's not all! In other good news, "the White House also is working to increase the amount of the proposed subsidies that would help offset the cost of buying insurance for lower earners. The administration wants to bring them closer to the House levels." More on national exchanges, subsidies and what the White House should take from the House and Senate bills here. Photo credit: By Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post

By Ezra Klein  |  January 13, 2010; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Harold Ford's big joke


Thanks for the HCR status report.

Any update on the "abortion issue" in the bill? Haven't heard/read a peep about it lately.

Is the abortion language still a point of contention? If so, does it jeopardize the vote numbers?

Posted by: onewing1 | January 13, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

A national exchange in addition to state exchange is no big deal. Increase subsidies doesn't mean much if the indexing is all wrong.

What does matter is limiting the Cadillac tax to low actuarial value plans. That is the single most important change Obama could make. Otherwise we are in danger of becoming a nation of high-deductible junk insurance buyers, and preventive care will be decimated.

Posted by: bmull | January 13, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Just curious: why doesn't Obama weigh in on things more? I'm kind of skeptical of his ability to change the minds of people in Congress. But he'd surely satisfy his base more if he made more of a show of what he thinks about things. And maybe he'd do some good.

Posted by: blah1 | January 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Obama spends his political capital quite wisely -- when it matters.

This pretty much shows all the comments about Obama not coming through for reform as unfounded.

It is indeed great news that the exchanges will likely be national. This is actually quite a powerful reform.

I'd go a bit further.

The whole administration effort altogether is looking a lot like a master plan that is showing itself to be quite well devised, by someone who's game is on a higher level.

Posted by: HalHorvath | January 13, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

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