The Banking and Strategy Initiative

Chillin' out till it needs to be funded

Affordable Health care for America?

Mainly it taxed all plans above $8500 premium to fund the social terms of the bill, the first part is the house bill and the second part is the modified Senate Bill that we also tweeted in the pre Christmas extended session

AHCA Act as cleared by the House in October

as from the House.gov website:

For the first time in U.S. history, all Americans would have access to quality, affordable health care under updated health insurance reform legislation passed by the House on November 7, 2009, by a vote of 220-215.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act [H.R. 3962], which blends and updates the three versions of previous bills passed by the House committees of jurisdiction in July, embodies President Obama’s key goals for health reform. It will slow the growth in out-of-control costs, introduce competition into the health care marketplace to keep coverage affordable and insurers honest, protect people’s choices of doctors and health plans, and assure all Americans access to quality, stable, affordable health care.

The key components of the Affordable health Care for America Act include:

Increasing choice and competition. The bill will protect and improve consumers’ choices.

  • If people like their current plans, they will be able to keep them.
  • For individuals who aren’t currently covered by their employer, and some small businesses, the proposal will establish a new Health Insurance Exchange where consumers can comparison shop from a menu of affordable, quality health care options that will include private plans, health co-ops, and a new public health insurance option. The public health insurance option will play on a level playing field with private insurers, spurring additional competition.
  • This Exchange will create competition based on quality and price that leads to better coverage and care. Patients and doctors will have control over decisions about their health care, instead of insurance companies.

Giving Americans peace of mind. The legislation will ensure that Americans have portable, secure health care coverage – so that they won’t lose care if their employer drops their plan or they lose their job.

  • Every American who receives coverage through the Exchange will have a plan that includes standardized, comprehensive and quality health care benefits.
  • It will end increases in premiums or denials of care based on pre-existing conditions, race, or gender, and strictly limit age rating.
  • The proposal will also eliminate co-pays for preventive care, and cap out-of-pocket expensesto protects every American from bankruptcy.

Improving quality of care for every American. The legislation will ensure that Americans of all ages, from young children to retirees have access to greater quality of care by focusing on prevention, wellness, and strengthening programs that work.

  • Guarantees that every child in America will have health care coverage that includes dental, hearing and vision benefits.
  • Provides better preventive and wellness care. Every health care plan offered through the exchange and by employers after a grace period will cover preventive care at no cost to the patient.
  • Increases the health care workforce to ensure that more doctors and nurses are available to provide quality care as more Americans get coverage.
  • Strengthens Medicare and Medicaid and closes the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ so that seniors and low-income Americans receive better quality of care and see lower prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses.

Ensuring shared responsibility. The bill will ensure that individuals, employers, and the federal government share responsibility for a quality and affordable health care system.

  • Employers can continue offering coverage to workers, and those who choose not to offer coverage contribute a fee of eight percent of payroll.
  • All individuals will generally be required to get coverage, either through their employer or the exchange, or pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of income, subject to a hardship exemption.
  • The federal government will provide affordability credits, available on a sliding scale for low- and middle-income individuals and families to make premiums affordable and reduce cost-sharing.

Protecting consumers and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse. The legislation will put the interests of consumers first, protect them from problems in getting and keeping health care coverage, and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.

  • Provides transparency in plans in the Health Exchange so that consumers have the clear, complete information, in plain English, needed to select the plan that best meets their needs.
  • Establishes consumer advocacy offices as part of the Exchange in order to protect consumers, answer questions, and assist with any problems related to their plans.
  • Simplifies paperwork and other administrative burdens. Patients, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, providers, and employers will all encounter a streamlined, less confusing, more consumer friendly system.
  • Increases funding of efforts to reduce waste, fraud and abuse; creates enhanced oversight of Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Reducing the deficit and ensuring the solvency of Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation will be entirely paid for – it will not add a dime to the deficit. It will also put Medicare and Medicaid on the path to a more fiscally sound future, so seniors and low-income Americans can continue to receive the quality health care benefits for years to come.

  • Pays for the entire cost of the legislation though a combination of savings achieved by making Medicare and Medicaid more efficient – without cutting seniors’ benefits in any way – and  revenue generated from placing a surcharge the top 0.3 percent of all households in the U.S.(married couples with adjusted gross income of over $1,000,000) and other tax measures.
  • The Congressional Budget estimates the bill will reduce the deficit by at least $100 billion over ten years.
  • Estimates also show the bill will slow the rate of growth of the Medicare program from 6.6 percent annually to 5.3 percent annually.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of December 23/24, 2009 as cleared by the senate 59-31 to be merged above and presented again (from the senate.gov site)

Summary

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and will create the transformation within the health care system necessary to contain costs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, is fully paid for, will provide coverage to more than 94 percent of Americans while staying under the $900 billion limit that President Obama established, bending the health care cost curve, and reducing the deficit by $132 billion over the next ten years, with additional deficit reductions in the following years.

Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes immediate changes to the way health insurance companies do business to protect consumers from discriminatory practices and provide Americans with better preventive coverage and the information they need to make informed decisions about their health insurance.

 Uninsured Americans with a pre-existing condition will have access to an immediate insurance program to help them avoid medical bankruptcy and retirees will have greater certainty due to reinsurance provisions to help maintain coverage.

 New health insurance Exchanges will make coverage affordable and accessible for individuals and small businesses. Premium tax credits and cost-sharing assistance will help those who need assistance.

 Insurance companies will be barred from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions, health status, and gender.

 A substantial investment in Community Health Centers will provide funding to expand access to health care in communities where it is needed most.

The Role of Public Programs

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act expands eligibility for Medicaid to include all non-elderly Americans with income below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), with substantial assistance to States for the cost of covering these individuals.

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act maintains current funding levels for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional two years, through fiscal year 2015.

Improving the Quality and Efficiency of Health Care

 Congress is committed to protecting and strengthening the Medicare program for America’s seniors. Medicare is a sacred trust with seniors and people with disabilities, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will ensure that trust is preserved. The cost of inaction is unacceptable for seniors and the Medicare program that serves them; without action, the Medicare hospital insurance trust fund is expected to go broke in just over seven years. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make Medicare a stronger, more sustainable program.

 Medicare currently reimburses health care providers on the basis of the volume of care they provide rather than the value of care. For each test, scan or procedure conducted, Medicare provides a separate payment, rewarding those who do more, regardless of whether the test or treatment contributes to helping a patient recover. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a number of proposals to move away from the “a la carte” Medicare fee‐for‐service system toward paying for quality and value and reducing costs to America’s seniors.

Preventing Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promotes preventive health care and improves the public health to help Americans live healthy lives and help restrain the growth of health care costs over time. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will eliminate co-pays and deductibles for recommended preventive care, including preventive care for women, provide individuals with the information they need to make healthy decisions, improve education on disease prevention and public health, and invest in a national prevention and public health strategy.

Health Care Workforce

 Currently, 65 million Americans live in communities where they cannot easily access a primary care provider, and an additional 16,500 practitioners are required to meet their needs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will address shortages in primary care and other areas of practice by making necessary investments in our nation’s health care workforce. Specifically, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will invest in the National Health Service Corps, scholarship and loan repayment programs to expand the health care workforce. The bill also includes incentives for primary care practitioners and for providers to serve underserved areas.

Transparency and Program Integrity

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will provide consumers with information about physician ownership of hospitals and medical equipment as well as nursing home ownership and other characteristics. The bill also includes provisions that will crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and private insurance. Finally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will establish a private, non-profit entity to identify priorities for and provide for the conduct of comparative outcomes research.

Improving Access to Innovative Medical Therapies

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will establish a regulatory pathway for FDA approval of biosimilar versions of previously licensed biological products. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also expand the scope of the existing 340B drug discount program, so that patients at children’s hospitals, cancer hospitals, rural hospitals and in other underserved communities have access to medicines at lower cost.

Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS)

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make long-term supports and services more affordable for millions of Americans by providing a lifetime cash benefit that will help people with severe disabilities remain in their homes and communities. CLASS is a voluntary, self-funded, insurance program provided through the workplace. For those whose

employers participate, affordable premiums will be paid through payroll deductions. Participation by workers is entirely voluntary. The Congressional Budget Office confirms that the program, which has been revised from earlier versions, is actuarially sound.

Revenue Provisions

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully paid for and reduces the deficit in the next ten years and beyond. The revenue provisions in the bill focus on paying for reform within the health care system. This is accomplished by tightening current health tax incentives, collecting industry fees, and slightly increasing the Medicare Hospital Insurance tax for individuals who earn more than $200,000 and couples who earn more than $250,000. This increase will not only help fund health care reform, but, when combined with other provisions in the bill, will also extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by nine years to 2026. The bill also includes a fee on insurance companies when they sell high cost health insurance plans, designed to generate smarter, more cost-effective health coverage choices. Changes to health care tax incentives include capping FSA contributions, conforming definitions of deductible medical expenses and changing penalties for HSA spending that is not devoted to health care. The industry fees reflect responsible contributions from industries who have long profited from health care and who will benefit from the expanded coverage of millions of additional Americans under health care reform. The bill also assesses a small excise tax on indoor tanning services. Together, these revenue provisions represent a balanced, responsible package of proposals that bend the health care cost curve by putting downward pressure on health spending.


Information

This entry was posted on January 28, 2010 by in Healthcare, Obamanomics and tagged , , , , , , .

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