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Baucus Accepts Numerous Republican And Democratic Amendments, Brings Cost Of Bill To $900 Billion

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:51 PM
Original message
Baucus Accepts Numerous Republican And Democratic Amendments, Brings Cost Of Bill To $900 Billion

Baucus Accepts Numerous Republican And Democratic Amendments, Brings Cost Of Bill To $900 Billion

Sen Max Baucus (D-MT) has just released a Chairmans amendment to his mark, enhancing the bills affordability measures and increasing the threshold on so-called Cadillac health care plans. The modified amendment also preserves a subsidy to certain Medicare Advantage plans.

Baucus accepted 29 Republican amendments, including 10 from Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who has indicated that she is open to voting for the Senate Finance Committee bill. Baucus did not address any public option amendments and will likely consider during mark-up.

Below are the most significant revisions:

<...>


Affordability of premiums
    Baucus Mark: Families 100% FPL contribute 3% of income to premiums. Families 300% FPL would contribute 13% of income to premiums.
    New Baucus Amendment: Families 100% FPL contribute 2% of income to premiums. Families 300% FPL would contribute 12% of income to premiums.
    Amendments Accepted: Menendez, Kerry, Bingaman and Schumer as amendment C1; Kerry & Menendez as amendment C9, Stabenow as amendment C1.

Out of pocket protections
    Baucus Mark: 300%+ FPL = HSA limit ($11,900 families, $5,590 individuals); 200-300% FPL = 1/2 of HSA limit; 100-200% FPL = 1/3 of HSA limit;
    New Baucus Amendment: 300-400% FPL = 2/3 of the HSA limit
    Amendments Accepted: Menendez as amendment C13.

Affordability for older Americans
    Baucus Mark: Insurers can charge an older person 5x more for coverage.
    New Baucus Amendment: Insurers can charge an older person 4x more for coverage.
    Amendments Accepted: Wyden as amendment C9, Kerry as amendment C15.

Easier to opt out of unaffordable employer coverage
    Baucus Mark: If the costs of employer-sponsored coverage exceed 13% of income, an individual can enroll in the Exchange.
    New Baucus Amendment: If the costs of employer-sponsored coverage exceed 10% of income, an individual can enroll in the Exchange.
    Amendments Accepted: Snowe amendment number C2.

Increasing threshold for excise tax on Cadillac plans
    Baucus Mark: Insurers w/ policies @ $21,000/families, $8,000/individuals pay 35% excise tax.
    New Baucus Amendment: New thresholds for high-risk enrollees & non-Medicare retirees aged 55 ($22,000/families, $8,750/individuals- insurers pay 40% excise tax). Excise tax increased to 40% for all other enrollees, threshold levels preserved.
    Amendments Accepted: Kerry, Rockefeller, Schumer, Stabenow, Cantwell, & Menendez as amendment F2.

Reducing penalty on individuals/families that dont meet the requirements of the individual mandate.
    Baucus Mark:Families 100-300% FPL, penalty = $750 $1,500. More than 300% FPL, penalty = $950-$3,800.
    New Baucus Amendment: Families 100-300% FPL, penalty = $750-$1,500 . More than 300% FPL, penalty = $1,900 max. Individuals below 100% FPL,no penalty
    Amendments Accepted: Snowe as amendment F4 and Schumer as amendment C6

Catastrophic coverage opened to Americans exempt from individual mandate
    Baucus Mark: Only Americans 25 years old and younger could enroll in a high deductible catastrophic plan.
    New Baucus Amendment: Individuals who would otherwise qualify for the exemption from the individual mandate, could now purchase the young invincible policy,
    Amendments Accepted: Snowe as amendment F5.

Preserving some overpayments to private plans participating in Medicare Advantage
    Baucus Mark: The Medicare Advantage program is opened to competitive bidding.
    New Baucus Amendment: Preserves Medicare Advantage subsidies for seniors living in high cost areas where plans deliver benefits below the average cost of traditional Medicare.
    Amendments Accepted: Bill Nelson as amendment D10.

Federal employees eligible for the Exchange.
    Baucus Mark: Federal employees would not eligible to enroll in the Exchange until approximately 2022.
    New Baucus Amendment: Beginning in 2013 elected officials and federal employees may purchase coverage through a state-based exchange, rather than using the traditional Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan
    Amendments Accepted: Grassley Amendment C3




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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. They should just use the HELP bill
It's better and doesn't cost any more than this.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Completely agree. They should
take the appropriate financing mechanism from this bill, dump the rest and pass the HELP bill with the financing mechanism added.

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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It's like everybody forgot it exists
It's all going to have to go into conference anyway. Spit it out and get on with it. This is ridiculous.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. They can put the premiums at 12% income. Let us see them get
it. Especially from people who are paying less now.

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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. This isn't exactly true
many of these were modified take for instance the age rating limit the Kerry C 15 and Wyden C9 amendment would've lowered it to 2x as in the House and HELP bills from 5x Baucus lowered it 4x. Not exactly going out on a limb
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's why they're called Baucus' new amendment. It just means he considered the amendments. n/t
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. Update - Opening up the Exchange
Opening up the Exchange: By 2015 states can allow businesses with up to 100 employees to enroll in the Exchange. By 2017, businesses with more than 100 employees can utilize the Exchange.

link


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