Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Baucus plan

Senator Max Baucus has presented a health care proposal (a summary is here (pdf)). The summary, which I have only skimmed, is about 18 pages long, but the gist of his plan is as follows:
  • There will be no "public option"insurance plan.
  • All citizens and legal residents (but not undocumented immigrants) will be required to buy health insurance or enroll with an employer's plan, under threat of a tax penalty.
  • Certain curbs are put on the costs of premiums that insurance companies can offer.
  • Insurance companies cannot deny coverage.
  • The law imposes certain incentives, both carrots and sticks, to encourage or compel employers to offer health care.
  • The plan would increase the number of people eligible for medicaid, and enrollment in medicaid can be used to avoid the tax penalty.
  • The bill would authorize insurance cooperatives, which would be eligible for federal loans and grants and which could make purchases collectively.
  • States are given authority to expand health coverage
I hope I have represented the plan accurately. There are a lot of other, more technical features of the plan that I either do not understand or have not fully thought over. But it seems interesting.

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