As we all know, health care reform has been bouncing around Congress for quite a few months now. Deliberations in the Senate Finance Committee on their own lasted for months. And when they finally passed it out of committee, the Republicans on that committee gave it a pass. All the while, the Congress has been hammering out a number of bills, reconciling them and finally submitting one for consideration about 10 days ago.
While all this was going on, the GOP did not offer a bill. Oh, they described the bill-that-was-to-come endlessly. And yesterday the put their proposed ‘bill’ out there. Timely of them. (Does anyone know how many pages it is?)
Google shows 3600 stories on the bill this morning. The Democratic Party informs me (via email):
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it would barely make a dent in most of our premiums, and could lead to higher premiums for older Americans
- The New York Times reports that it doesn’t stop insurers from refusing to cover you because of a pre-existing condition.
- The CBO’s research shows that the GOP plan would likely cut the deficit by just $68 billion over the next ten years — far less than the Democratic bill, which cuts the deficit by $104 billion over the same period.
- The CBO also estimates that under the Republican bill the number of uninsured Americans would actually increase to 52 million by 2019.
- And Politico writes that the Republican’s so-called plan doesn’t keep insurers from dropping you when you’re sick — it just makes them let you know that you’re being dropped
And that’s just the preliminary analysis. It’s only been out there for a day. Reuters has read it and their story today says: “The Republican proposal would provide for the sale of insurance coverage across state lines and calls for medical malpractice lawsuit reforms.” (Ahh – the old favorites!) “The proposal would also provide incentives to states to encourage them to review their insurance rules and mandates to find ways to reduce costs and expand medical coverage.
“Now the bad news. The proposal would reduce the rolls of the uninsured by about 3 million in 2019, leaving about 52 million people without medical coverage, the CBO said. Also, the CBO said that premiums for some people, mostly the less healthy, would go up, feeding into Democratic criticisms that the Republican plan would allow insurers to “cherry pick” and enroll healthier, less costly people.”
Their story has a lot more detail, if you want to read it.