The big story here is that the House put forward a single bill from three separate committees with competing interests. That’s significant since this was one of the biggest problems in 1994…each committee put forward their own bills and chaos ensued.

Also, the estimates says it’ll eventually cover 97% of folks who aren’t covered already, and the price tag will be $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

Oh, and it’s paid for. $500 billion in savings from Medicare and Medicaid and the other money will be found in tax increases on the wealthiest 1.5 percent. But when the Washington Post says, “by imposing a surtax of as much as 5.4 percent on income above $350,000 a year,” that’s a bit misleading.

Actually, the tax will be…

  • 1 percent on income from $350K to $500K
  • 1.5 percent on income from $500K to $1M
  • 5.4 percent in income above $1M.

What do these taxes mean practically? NY Times runs the numbers…

Starting in 2011, a family making $500,000 would have to pay $1,500 in additional income tax to help subsidize coverage for the uninsured. A family making $1 million would have to pay $9,000.

Also, concerning the costs to businesses…

While employers not providing coverage would generally have to pay a fee or penalty equal to 8 percent of wages, there would be some exceptions. For example, an employer with a payroll of less than $250,000 a year would not have to pay any fee or penalty.

The fee would be equal to 2 percent of wages for a company with an annual payroll of $250,000 to $300,000; 4 percent of wages for an employer with a payroll of $300,000 to $350,000; and 6 percent of wages for businesses with a payroll of $350,000 to $400,000.

Honestly, I really have yet to dig into this, but it appears as if it achieves a lot of what has been talked about with regards to reform, covering most folks and remaining budget neutral.

Still, it doesn’t cover EVERYBODY, although I think the estimate was that only 8 million legal citizens wouldn’t have coverage.

If you want to read the whole thing, click here.

Much, much, much more as it develops…

Home Politics House Puts Forward Unified Health Care Plan