Ezra Klein at the Washington Post has a quick interview with California Representative George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. It’s worth a read.
Rep. Miller comment on the challenge of putting this bill together, and the future obstacles. While most press reports indicate that the bill is a merger between the three committee versions, the most important change was meeting President Obama’s requirements during his speech to Congress: that the bill be in the range of $900 billion over 10 years, and that it be paid for not just in the first decade but in the future beyond that. These were laudable goals, but they put a significant crimp in the effort to make sure the bill provides enough help to low- and moderate-income families to afford coverage–the crux of this entire enterprise. But the House leaders were able to find ways to find new savings (like expanding Medicaid even moreto 150% of the poverty level, which is cheaper than private coverage).
But as we go through it, there’s a lot of good stuff here.
Rep. Miller’s website also has lots of fact sheets on the new House. Here are some key ones:
Here are some fact sheets on key elements:
Public Health Insurance Option
The Health Insurance Marketplace
Making Coverage Affordable
Consumer Protections and Insurance Market Reforms
Employers and Health Reform
Strengthening the Nation’s Health Workforce
Lowering Health Care Costs
Prevention and Wellness
Delivery System Reforms
Improving Medicare Part D Drug Program
Maintaining and Improving Medicaid
The House is expected to vote on the full bill before Veterans’ Day. And as Rep. Miller indicates, he expects that the whole effort is done, and a bill is on the President’s desk, by Christmas.