NASE Blogs

Small Biz Health Care Roundup (10/30)

Oct 30, 2009

Posted by Kristin Oberlander - Happy Halloween! Here is the latest news on health reform as it relates to small businesses. Submit articles for consideration at media@NASE.org.

  • Democrats Push For Health Benefits To Start By 2010 (Politico) - Under the Democratic wish list, senior citizens would receive discounts on brand-name drugs next year. Small businesses that provide insurance would see tax credits. And a $5 billion high-risk pool would cover people with preexisting conditions.
  • Should The Feds Keep Subsidizing COBRA Health Insurance? (WSJ Health Blog) - A bill introduced recently in the House of Representatives would allow laid-off workers to get COBRA subsidies for 15 months (rather than the original nine), and it would extend the program to cover workers who are laid off through June 30, 2010.
  • Senate Health Care Reform: Two Huge Problems, One Giant Red Herring (Health Care Blog) - Huge Problem #1 is the conflict between mandated coverage and consumer affordability. Even with penalties of $750 or more per person, and with subsidies that limit premiums to 13 percent of income, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 16 million eligible individuals will fail to be insured. (Rather than paying $4,000 for coverage, a $750 penalty may seem a good risk for someone earning $30,000 a year.) Huge Problem #2...
  • Pelosi Backs Off Set Rates For Public Option (NY Times) - The 10-year cost of expanding coverage would be less than the $900 billion ceiling suggested by President Obama. The cost would be offset by new taxes and by cutbacks in Medicare, so the bill would not increase the federal budget deficit in the next 10 years or in the decade after that.
  • Nancy Pelosi Starts Clock On House Health Bill (Politico) - The long-awaited introduction of a combined House health care bill that totals 1,990 pages produced few major surprises. After weeks of public hand-wringing, leaders – and party liberals – bowed to political reality by allowing doctors and hospitals to negotiate their rates with the government under the public plans.