New Health Care Bill to be Unveiled Next Week

A long-awaiting compromise to the health care negotiations seems to be coming to an end. The Democratic Senate committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, intends to unveil a compromise bill from his panel as soon as next week.

Some key components of the new health care bill proposal include:

  • Protection for policy holders – The new bill would bar insurance companies from being able to drop a policyholder in the event of illness. It would also add new protections for those with preexisting conditions.
  • Tax Credits – Those with low and middle incomes would have tax credits established for them so that they could purchase insurance coverage.
  • Health Insurance Exchanges – Creating health care exchanges would make it easier for small groups and individuals to buy insurance.
  • New Fees – In the bill proposal are new fees that would circulate from health insurance companies, the medical-device manufacturing sector, drug makers and clinical laboratories. The new fees are intended to generate upwards of $10 billionand would start in 2010.

The new health care bill would also drop the public option provision that would allow for the creation of nonprofit health care cooperatives and tax insurance companies that provide the most expensive insurance plans.

Under the new bill, health care insurance would be mandatory for all Americans. Those who were not to obtain coverage could be fined. The maximum penalty would be $3,800 for families that make more than 300 percent above the poverty line.

While it’s still in the works, this bill could be the one that sticks. So how do you feel about the new proposal? Is it something you think you could live with?