House Dems Health Care Plan: Very Reform-Y
Compared to the political confusion in the Senate right now, the House of Representative's three-committee health care draft is a model of clarity and politically pleasing language. There's an interesting trigger mechanism for a public plan; it would tie itself to Medicare's provider rates for a few years, and then de-tether, meaning that, in essence, it would be very competitive early on but less so later, rewarding insurance companies who act quickly to match its efficiency. There's a "pay to play" requirement on employers, with exemptions for small businesses, that limits employer expenses to 8% of payroll. There's a coverage mandate. There are no 'revenue enhancers' just yet, although the House Ways and Means Committee is looking at a panoply of options, including income tax hikes, a soda tax, and a VAT tax.