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View Diary: Senate HELP Committee Passes Health Reform Bill (246 comments)

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  •  There's an even sweeter idea being (12+ / 0-)

    floated by Senate Dems: that health insurers be required to absorb $100 billion of the cost, possibly as a windfall profits tax.

    McJoan, see what happens when we follow your links!  In this case, it's to Politico:

    EXCLUSIVE -- Three Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee --Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) today are announcing an aggressive push to make HEALTH INSURES absorb AS MUCH AS $100 BILLION of the cost of reform. The idea has been kicking around quietly in meetings, and insurers are on a list of potential targets that have been floating around. But Schumer, one of the senior Democratic voices at the Capitol, is going at them head-on.

    A top Senate Democratic aide: "If we really want to have a breakthrough to make it possible to pass this, we should go after these guys in terms of defraying the cost of the bill."

    The structure has not been set, but top possibilities include a fee based on their market share and what the aide calls "a flat percentage of their profits – basically a windfall-profits tax, like people propose on the oil industry, for health-care insurance." Per the aide, this could raise "close to $100 billion if you did it in a very aggressive way."

    The best argument against this is that health insurers will pass the tax on to their customers...but we'll have a public option if they do, nyah nyah nyah!

    Healthy Minds & Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays 5 PM PDT

    by RLMiller on Wed Jul 15, 2009 at 10:13:32 AM PDT

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