U.S. House Democrats on Friday unveiled a long-awaited health-care overhaul legislation that includes a new public health insurance plan and generous subsidies for low- and middle-income families to purchase health insurance.
Leaders of three committees discussed details of the 852-page draft bill, which includes many details on how to provide coverage to those currently uninsured but almost no details on how to pay for the expanded coverage. The panels - which include the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee - say their unified approach will spur efforts to pass the bill… .
The plan would provide subsidies on a sliding scale for families up to 400% of the poverty level, according to the outline. Under current poverty guidelines, individuals with income up to $43,000 would be eligible, and families of four with income up to $88,000 would be eligible… . .
The House proposal has huge implications for the insurance industry. Besides creating a new “public option” that would compete with private plans, it would cap out-of-pocket costs to policy-holders and prohibit insurers from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who leads House GOP efforts on health-care issues, issued a statement strongly criticizing the bill, saying it “fails American families and small businesses.” …