What is in the Senate Healthcare Bill?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

With the Senate passing their own version of healthcare “reform” by a vote of 60-39, let’s take a look at what exactly is in the bill and what is going to happen when the bill is merged with the House bill for the President to sign.

-The official Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost of the bill is $871 billion. The official cost of the bill that the House of Representatives passed is around $1 trillion. The bill’s costs would be offset by the new taxes and fees as well as the money that the Medicare program would save.

-The bill requires that almost every American have health insurance but helps Americans pay for it by adding 15 million people to the Medicaid program and offers government subsidies for Americans who cannot afford the full cost of insurance.

-According to the budget office, the bill will insure around just 31 million additional Americans but will leave 23 million Americans (including illegal immigrants) uninsured.

-Increase in the Medicare payroll tax for the wealthy.

-Creates a new excise tax on premium insurance policies (to control the costs, according to the Times).

-Puts new restrictions on healthcare providers that would prohibit them from denying coverage to people with “pre-existing conditions,” charging higher prices for people with health conditions, rescinding coverage because a person got sick or became disabled.

-Limits the profits of insurance companies by mandating that they spend 80-85 cents of every dollar they make on care.

-Mandates that healthcare benefits be described to consumers without fine print

-Plenty of earmarks to buy votes.

-A total of more than 4,100 combined pages between the House and Senate bill.

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