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View Diary: Brief Notes On The Baucus White Paper About Health Reform (227 comments)

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  •  There is a public component. (1+ / 0-)
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    The plan sets up a Health Insurance Exchange -- similar to the exchange envisioned by Obama -- where the government would set up a market pitting regulated private and public insurance options against each other. The plan specifically says that individuals and small businesses could buy into the market. As for midsize and large businesses, more on that in a moment. Importantly, the Exchange is not the only space where insurers will find themselves subject to new regulation. "Under the Baucus plan, insurance companies could not deny coverage to any individual nor discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions...[this] would apply in the Exchange as well as the private non-group and small group markets." In other words, everywhere. An important addendum to the exchange is that while the Exchange is being set-up, Medicare is opened to anyone between 55 and 64 who doesn't have employer based health coverage. After that point, no new applicants in that age range are accepted, but those who bought into Medicare can stay in the program, or move to the Health Insurance Exchange.


    To aid in this, the plan subsidies the cost of health insurance for folks making up to 400 percent of the poverty line (85 percent of the uninsured are below 400 percent of the poverty line). But notice the "once" there. Baucus's approach to the mandate is a hybrid of Obama's affordability concerns and Clinton's emphasis on universality. The mandate only kicks in once "affordable" insurance options are available to all Americans. The key here is what "affordable" means. Again, more on that in a moment.

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:36:23 PM PST

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