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.
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."
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
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