The Associated Press obtained an outline of some key baseline figures for health care reform in the House of Representatives. Under legislation being written by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, employers would be required to purchase health insurance for their employees. And people earning less than $88,000 would be eligible for government assistance with their premiums. A Public Plan: the House draft contains two important variations on the idea. One is that the Department of Health and Human Services would create and administer a self-sufficient health insurance option. That means that it would not be funded by taxpayers, but by the premiums paid by participants. The second: that a group of experts would recommended benefits that a new "exchange" like mechanism would cover; this option would be available to individuals and very small businesses. Mandate: at this point, the House bill does not contain an individual mandate. Costs: according to the AP, there's no cost estimate. Insurance restrictions: As in the various Senate proto-plans, insurance companies would face significant new regulations; they'd be required to cover more money and have less flexibility in denying coverage.
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