Some Info on HR 3962 - Affordable Health Care for America Act
Key information taken from the Education and Labor committee website with some PDF links transferred into comment forms below:
By Kruger, Mike on October 29, 2009 10:30 AM
For the first time in U.S. history, all Americans would have access to
quality, affordable health care under updated health insurance reform
legislation unveiled by House Democrats.
Affordable Health Care for America Act [H.R. 3962], which blends and
updates the three versions of previous bills passed by the House
committees of jurisdiction in July, embodies President Obama’s key
goals for health reform. It will slow the growth in out-of-control
costs, introduce competition into the health care marketplace to keep
coverage affordable and insurers honest, protect people’s choices of
doctors and health plans, and assure all Americans access to quality,
stable, affordable health care.
The key components of the Affordable health Care for America Act include:
Increasing choice and competition. The bill will protect and improve consumers’ choices.
- If people like their current plans, they will be able to keep them.
individuals who aren’t currently covered by their employer, , and some
small businesses, the proposal will establish a new Health Insurance
Exchange where consumers can comparison shop from a menu of affordable,
quality health care options that will include private plans, health
co-ops, and a new public health insurance option. The public health
insurance option will play on a level playing field with private
insurers, spurring additional competition.
- This Exchange will
create competition based on quality and price that leads to better
coverage and care. Patients and doctors will have control over
decisions about their health care, instead of insurance companies.
Giving Americans peace of mind. The legislation will ensure that
Americans have portable, secure health care coverage – so that they
won’t lose care if their employer drops their plan or they lose their
- Every American who receives coverage through the
Exchange will have a plan that includes standardized, comprehensive and
quality health care benefits.
- It will end increases in premiums
or denials of care based on pre-existing conditions, race, or gender,
and strictly limit age rating.
- The proposal will also
eliminate co-pays for preventive care, and cap out-of-pocket expensesto
protects every American from bankruptcy.
Improving quality of care for every American. The legislation
will ensure that Americans of all ages, from young children to retirees
have access to greater quality of care by focusing on prevention,
wellness, and strengthening programs that work.<
- Guarantees that every child in America will have health care coverage that includes dental, hearing and vision benefits.
- Provides better preventive and wellness care. Every health care plan
offered through the exchange and by employers after a grace period will
cover preventive care at no cost to the patient.
the health care workforce to ensure that more doctors and nurses are
available to provide quality care as more Americans get coverage.
Medicare and Medicaid and closes the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ so
that seniors and low-income Americans receive better quality of care
and see lower prescription drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses.
Ensuring shared responsibility. The bill will ensure that
individuals, employers, and the federal government share responsibility
for a quality and affordable health care system.
- Employers can
continue offering coverage to workers, and those who choose not offer
coveragecontribute a fee of eight percent of payroll.
individuals will generally be required to get coverage, either through
their employer or the exchange, or pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of
income, subject to a hardship exemption.
- The federal
government will provide affordability credits, available on a sliding
scale for low- and middle-income individuals and families to make
premiums affordable and reduce cost-sharing.
Protecting consumers and reducing waste, fraud, and abuse. The
legislation will put the interests of consumers first, protect them
from problems in getting and keeping health care coverage, and reduce
waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Provides transparency in plans in the
Health Exchange so that consumers have the clear, complete information,
in plain English, needed to select the plan that best meets their needs.
consumer advocacy offices as part of the Exchange in order to protect
consumers, answer questions, and assist with any problems related to
- Simplifies paperwork and other administrative
burdens. Patients, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, providers, and
employers will all encounter a streamlined, less confusing, more
consumer friendly system.
- Increases funding of efforts to reduce waste, fraud and abuse; creates enhanced oversight of Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Reducing the deficit and ensuring the solvency of Medicare and Medicaid.
The legislation will be entirely paid for – it will not add a dime to
the deficit. It will also put Medicare and Medicaid on the path to a
more fiscally sound future, so seniors and low-income Americans can
continue to receive the quality health care benefits for years to come.
for the entire cost of the legislation though a combination of savings
achieved by making Medicare and Medicaid more efficient – without
cutting seniors’ benefits in any way – and revenue generated from
placing a surcharge the top 0.3 percent of all households in the
U.S.(married couples with adjusted gross income of over $1,000,000) and
other tax measures.
- The Congressional Budget estimates the bill will reduce the deficit by at least $100 billion over ten years.
also show the bill will slow the rate of growth of the Medicare program
from 6.6 percent annually to 5.3 percent annually.