Update-House health care reform action this weekend

“High risk pools and reinsurance will take care of people with pre-existing conditions,” according to Marsha Blackburn, a four-term Congresswoman from Tennessee.  A 219-page amendment, referred to as the GOP Healthcare Reform bill will be introduced and offered as an amendment tomorrow on the House floor during a controversial vote that will begin Saturday morning.  The GOP solution includes a Universal Access Program that will allow “all patients with pre-existing conditions access to affordable health care coverage-without waiting lists.”
Tomorrow’s debate and votes on the House floor will address the 1990-page bill entitled, Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R.3962). Long and complex the bill includes immediate elimination of lifetime caps in 2010. The bill also includes: 

  • Individual mandates requiring nearly all individuals to obtain health care coverage
  • Employer mandates that require employers to offer employees health care insurance or face penalties
  • Creation of a federal health insurance exchange with establishment of a public health insurance option
  • Individual subsidies for individuals and families with incomes of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty line
  • Small business tax credits for those that offer health insurance to their employees
  •  Restricts insurance companies from denying or reducing coverage based on a pre-existing medical conditions
  • A repeal of the anti-trust exemption for health insurers
  • Medicaid expansions and changes to Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug program
  • Limits on annual out-of-pocket expenses

With the exception of immediate elimination of lifetime caps, many changes will take place in 2013 or later.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has indicated the debate and votes will occur over the weekend, however he is prepared to go through the beginning of next week if necessary. 
To read more about the H.R. 3962 and GOP amendment please click the following links:
H.R. 3962
GOP Amendment