Senate Finance Committee Submits Amendments to Health Systems Reform Bill
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Friday, September 25, 2009
Last week, members of the Senate Finance Committee submitted 564 amendments to the health systems reform bill submitted by Chairman Max Baucus. Republican amendments favor a less costly bill with fewer taxes, changes to existing medical malpractice laws, reduced regulation on flexible savings accounts and the elimination of unfunded mandates on states as a result of the proposed expansion of Medicaid. GOP lawmakers also oppose the private, not-for-profit network of health insurance cooperatives that is included in the draft and are against the inclusion of a public plan within any reform legislation.
Some Democrats have proposed changes that would strengthen the provision that would create the co-ops, while others want it replaced with a public plan. Democrats also want to raise the amount of tax credits that would be offered to low- and moderate-income people to buy coverage, and they want to amend the proposed 35% excise tax on the highest-priced insurance plans.
The full Committee will address each of the proposed amendments during its mark-up session this week. Read the bill on the Wall Street Journal Web site.