Another Estimate Of The Kennedy Health Care Bill

More

Another new score of the health care bill that will feature Sen. Ted Kennedy's name concludes that it will achieve its goal of providing nearly every American with health insurance, but not without significant costs.

The report, by HSI, a private health care consultancy, was obtained by the Atlantic from a Congressional source.

HSI estimates that 99% of Americans would have health insurance if the full provisions of the bill are made law. HSI, which has done work for insurance companies and for the presidential campaign of Sen, John McCain, also estimates that, with a so-called "public plan" attached, 78 million Americans would abandon their private health insurance plan for the public plan, which would pay providers using the Medicare-rate-plus-ten percent formula.

The group used the ACROLA method to score the plan, which, I confess, I don't know much about but which seems to be reliable, if broad.

I'm going to give short notice only to the HSI score of the cost of the plan -- $4 trillion over ten years --, in part because the draft released by the HELP committee doesn't include a number of revenue-enhancing or saving measures that we know will be included. Still, HSI estimates that ending the employer-sponsored health care tax exclusion would save, at most, $300 billion over ten years. That's the normal estimate.

So how does HSI get $4 trillion?  They're assuming that the bill ultimately subsidizes premiums for Americans making up to 500% of the poverty level, and that the public plan is robust and well-utilized.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In