Navigation Links
Statement of Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on the New Senate Health Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Robert Greenstein, Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

The new Senate health bill marks a major step toward comprehensive, fiscally responsible health reform. It would extend health insurance coverage to 31 million Americans who lack it, reduce the budget deficit, and put long-term downward pressure on health care costs.

The bill would reduce deficits by an estimated $130 billion over the 2010-2019 period and by about one-quarter of one percent of GDP in the decade thereafter, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). This amounts to about $55 billion in 2020 and several hundred billion dollars over the 2020-2029 period. The bill also would likely slow the growth of health care costs over time by, for instance, imposing an excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans, reducing overpayments that private insurers receive through Medicare Advantage, and reducing the cost of prescription drugs in Medicaid.

Moreover, while the bill extends health coverage to 31 million more Americans, it keeps the total federal cost for all health care spending and tax subsidies in the decade after 2019 essentially where it would be under current law, according to CBO. That's because the bill finances its expanded health coverage by redirecting existing spending and tax subsidies from less productive uses elsewhere in the health sector.

All of this represents a stark and welcome change from the treatment of major tax and spending initiatives for nearly a decade. Congress enacted, for instance, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug benefit without offsetting costs that totaled in the trillions of dollars. By contrast, the Senate health reform bill would expand coverage while reducing deficits over both the short and long term. (For more on the fiscal implications of the Senate bill, please read


The bill strengthens affordability by improving the premium subsidies in the Senate Finance Committee bill for the millions of households with incomes between 154 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line -- that is, between $28,200 and $73,240 for a family of three. Unfortunately, the new bill reduces the subsidies in the Finance Committee bill for near-poor households at the bottom of the subsidy range, which already were less than adequate. A family of three with income of $27,465 (150 percent of the poverty line) would have to pay $1,250 for premiums, or over $400 more than under the House bill. Many families with incomes this low already struggle to pay the rent and utilities and put food on the table and could have difficulty paying this much for health coverage. (For more on affordability, please read:

Employer Responsibility Requirement

The new bill significantly reduces the disincentives that the Finance Committee bill would have created for employers to hire workers from low- and moderate-income families, an important improvement. For some employers, some disincentives to hire or retain such workers would remain, however. Like the Finance Committee bill, the new bill would also create some incentives for employers to convert some full-time positions into positions of just under 30 hours per week. (For more on this point, please read:

Fortunately, the House-passed bill is strong in both the affordability and employer responsibility areas, so Congress can address these problems in a House-Senate conference committee when it irons out a final version of the bill, if not before then.

The Senate should now move without delay to consider this landmark legislation, which would represent a dramatic improvement over the current health insurance system.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs. It is supported primarily by foundation grants.

SOURCE Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

SOURCE Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Pelosi Statement on Senate Health Insurance Reform Bill
2. AAHSA Statement on Senate Health Reform Bill
3. Maurer Foundation for Breast Health Education Statement on USPSTF Guidelines for Mammography
4. Abbott Statement on ARBITER 6 - HALTS Results and Abbotts Niaspan (niacin extended-release)
5. FDA Statement on Vibrio Vulnificus in Raw Oysters
6. Statement of Anna Burger, Chair, Change to Win, on U.S. House Vote for Health Care Reform
7. Statement by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown on Passage of the Affordable Health Care for America Act in the U.S. House of Representatives
8. Catholics for Choice Statement on Healthcare Reform Bill
9. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine Issues Statement Praising the House of Representatives Historic Vote to Pass Health Insurance Reform
10. PhRMA Statement on House Passage of Health Care Reform Bill
11. AHIP Statement on House Passage of H.R. 3962
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... their knowledge and experiences at a live taping of the next CURE ... the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers 2015 Symposium at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... With Thanksgiving ... Insurance is sharing safety tips to help protect your family and vehicle. , According ... around the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Amica is sharing the following safety tips from ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Cleveland University-Kansas City (CU-KC), in Overland Park, Kansas. Benson, a fifth-trimester ... University President Carl S. Cleveland III on October 16. , “Katie is very ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Bibliomotion ... and Detroit Taught Me about Reinvention and Diversity by Nancy M. Schlichting, ... suffer, with hospitals failing to adequately address the needs of patients and their families, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if ... obituary said she might have been. After a 25-year search for information, Don and ... whom she shared a last name. Turns out, it was Don’s father who was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) ... a leading open-access R&D capability and technology platform company ... operations in China and ... at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held today, ... to authorize and approve the previously announced agreement and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Natera, ... in non-invasive genetic testing and the analysis ... it will present at the 27 th ... December 2, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., ... financial results, business activities and financial outlook. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical industry, companies want ... to quickly uncover new insights, tactics and strategies that ... --> However, organizations often find it ... and ensure that all rules and regulations are met ... major barrier to efficiently launching market research projects is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: