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House Democrats Consider Taxing Insurers For High-Premium Plans

by VR Sreeraman on  September 26, 2009 at 2:40 PM Health Insurance News   - G J E 4
 House Democrats Consider Taxing Insurers For High-Premium Plans
In the House, Democrats are considering levying a tax on insurance companies for providing high-premium plans. In the Senate, the Finance Committee has recessed before considering the public option.
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"House Democrats are considering an insurance tax to help pay for their health care overhaul plan, even though such a funding scheme is bitterly opposed by labor unions that are among the party's most loyal constituencies," The Associated Press reports. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday a tax on high-cost health insurance plans is 'under consideration' as Democrats search for consensus within their ranks before taking a bill to the House floor later this fall." She added that "[t]here are other provisions in the Senate bill that bend the (costs) curve that might be more palatable. We'll see."

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"Although Pelosi was noncommittal, an aide said that if the House does incorporate an insurance tax in its plan, it would probably be a more modest one than what Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has proposed" (Werner and Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/25).

Meanwhile, "Senators debating a much-watched bill that would overhaul the nation's health-care system broke for the weekend Friday without tackling an issue that has split the American public: whether the government should sponsor a insurance plan to compete with private insurers," The Washington Post reports. "A group of Democrats had announced Thursday that they would bring up the so-called public insurance option in a meeting Friday of the Senate Finance Committee." But the committee " recessed before the issue could come to the floor. It will not reconvene until Tuesday morning, in observance of Yom Kippur on Monday" (Butterworth and Connolly, 9/25).

Source: Kaiser Health News
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