House leaders released the 1000+ page “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” on July 14. The “tri-committee” healthcare reform bill is the product of three key House committees: Ways & Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor.
The Good: The bill includes a public plan option; however, initially its availability will be limited. There’s an insurance exchange to help the uninsured gain coverage. Some of the insurance industry’s egregious underwriting practices will be banned, and rates can only vary based on age, location, and family size. Premium subsidies are fairly generous, with some level of assistance going up to 400% of the Federal poverty limit. The Medicare subsidies for private insurers are eliminated.
NEXT: The Bad side of “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009” horsetrade.
American Hospital Association. AHA special bulletin: House leaders release reform bill. http://www.aha.org/aha/advocacy-update/2009/090714-bulletin.html. Published July 14, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
Eskow RJ. The House Health Reform Bill: how good is it? Huffington Post website. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-house-health-reform-b_b_234593.html. Published July 15, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
H.R. ___. America’s Affordable Health Choices Act bill text. http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf. Published July 14, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
Letter to the Honorable Charles B. Rangel, Chairman, Committee on House Ways and Means, US House of Representatives. Huffington Post website. http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/House_Tri-Committee.pdf. Published July 14, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
Mahar M. What the HELP and House bills tell us about the Administration’s priorities—it may be time for Baucus to join his caucus part I. HealthBeat website. http://www.healthbeatblog.com/2009/07/what-the-help-and-house-bills-tells-us-about-the-administrations-priorities-it-may-be-time-for-baucu.html. Published July 15, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
The House Health Reform Bill— just the highlights. Managed Care Matters website. http://www.joepaduda.com/2009/07/the_house_healt/. Published July 15, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.