Universal Health Care Draft Leaks

Just what Congress ordered: A detailed outline of the Democrats’ current draft of the much-heralded health care bill reached Politico on Saturday afternoon, ahead of the House Democratic caucus’ scheduled briefing on Tuesday. The draft, “identified as an update from the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” is more detailed than previous versions. It includes a “soft” requirement for individuals to purchase health insurance as well as a waiver for those who can’t afford it; a “moderate” tax penalty for those who refuse; tax penalties for large employers who skip insuring employees; and subisidies for small businesses that buy into insurance. Insurance companies will have minimum requirements for all health care packages and won’t be allowed to deny coverage or alter consumer rates based on “preexisting conditions.” Still in need of hashing out are Medicare details, and physician payment formulas. Politico notes that, if the Dems’ “goal” on physician payments is met, the result would be a “huge win for doctors”—though not so much for insurance companies.