And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

>>A side by side comparison of House and Senate Bills

Posted on: December 22, 2009

President Obama said the bills are 95% alike.    I guess math was not his forte either.   Hey, he can still do a hot job reading the teleprompter, so give the guy  credit for something, okay?  BB
A comparison of key components in the House bill that was approved last month and the Senate bill heading for a floor vote this week:

Here is a comparison of the bills:

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., picks up a copy of the House health care bill after a rally against it on Capitol  Hill in November.By Alex Brandon, AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-N.V., hugs Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., following the Senate's cloture vote on health care reform legislation on Capitol Hill on Nov. 21. The Senate approved the motion to bring the bill to a full debate on the floor of the Senate by 60-39 vote.By Brendan Hoffman, Getty Images


Cost and coverage

House

  • Would cost $1.1 trillion in the first 10 years and provide coverage to 36 million more people.

Senate

  • Would cost $871 billion in the first 10 years and would provide coverage to 31 million Americans who wouldn’t otherwise have it.


Requirements for individuals

House

  • All Americans, except for dependents, people living overseas and those with religious objections, would be required to have health insurance by 2013 or would face a 2.5% income tax surcharge.

Senate

  • All Americans, with the same exemptions, would be required to have coverage by 2014 or would be fined $95 in 2014, $350 in 2015 and $750 in 2016. Higher earners would pay 2% of their income up to $2,250 for a family.


Requirements for businesses

House

  • Companies with payrolls of more than $500,000 would be required to offer employees insurance or face a fine of up to 8% of payroll.

Senate

  • Companies with more than 50 workers would pay a fine of $750 for each full-time employee if any worker qualifies for a federal subsidy to defray insurance costs.


Subsidies to pay for insurance

House

  • Individuals making less than $43,320 a year and a family of three earning less than $73,240 would be eligible for subsidies. The subsidy would cover up to 99% of the premium for the lowest income brackets and 88% for higher incomes.

Senate

  • A similar sliding-scale subsidy would be available to individuals earning less than $43,320 and a family of three earning less than $73,240 a year.


Public option

House

  • Includes a government-run health insurance program for individuals who work for small businesses or who do not get coverage through work. Like private insurers, the public plan would negotiate how much to pay medical providers.

Senate

  • No public option. Instead, the Office of Personnel Management would contract for two national insurance plans. The new plans, a non-profit and a for-profit, would be offered in each state for people without employer-sponsored health care plans and need to obtain private health care insurance.


Abortion

House

  • Would prohibit women who receive a government subsidy for insurance from having an abortion covered either by a private plan or the proposed government-run program.

Senate

  • Would require people who receive a government subsidy to make a separate payment for abortion services. It also would allow states to ban abortion coverage by private insurers in the insurance exchange.


Taxes and spending cuts

House

  • Would impose a 5.4% surtax on couples earning more than $1 million a year and individuals making more than $500,000. Cuts Medicare and other federal programs by more than $400 billion over the first 10 years.

Senate

  • Would impose a 40% tax on insurance plans that cost more than $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family. Would increase Medicare payroll tax from 1.45% to 2.35% for individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000. Would cut Medicare and other federal programs by $483 billion over 10 years.


Age rating

House

  • Would allow private insurers to price premiums up to twice as high for older people.

Senate

  • Would allow private insurers to price premiums up to three times as high for older people.


Children

House

  • Would end state Children’s Health Insurance Program after 2013 and allow children to receive subsidies to pay for private insurance.

Senate

  • Would continue the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2015 and increase federal funding for states.




Sources: USA TODAY research and Kaiser Family Foundation

2 Responses to ">>A side by side comparison of House and Senate Bills"

Either way, either bill it is the American people who will be the losers in this whole mess being stuffed down our throats by a gang of power hungry and greedy politicians who care only for themselves.

Term Limits are definitely in order, if we are allowed to have any free elections in the future. The way it is going, I am not so sure.

With you ticker. It seems that Congress and Obama care nothing about what the American people are saying. I have never in my lifetime seen a turn out of angry people, not even the Vietnam riots were this big, but congress isn’t listening. I hope over this vacation the people at home really give it to their representatives but good. Picketing their homes, their offices and doing everything they can to get the message across. Then when they come back they will understand that their days in Washington are numbered. Politicians run for office to make it a career so reelection is of primary importance to them. Pelosi and Reid can throw away the next election because they know they will just go into a high paying lobbyists job, but most congressmen will just go home. BB

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