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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

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What the health care bills have in common

Both the Senate and House bills would require every American to purchase health insurance. The bills would prohibit insurance companies from rejecting buyers with pre-existing health conditions.

Federal dollars would be banned from funding abortions. Insurers would be restricted in terms of how much they can earn in profits and spend on administrative fees.

The House bill
The House bill includes a “public option” (or government-based insurance plan) that would be a less-costly alternative for those who can’t afford private insurance.

Employers with payrolls of more than $750,000 would be required to give employees health insurance or be fined 8 percent of their payroll.

Insurers would be free to charge older customers twice what they charge younger customers. Individuals earning incomes up to 150 percent of the poverty level would be eligible for Medicaid. To pay for the new health care system, funding would come from a tax of 5.4 percent on individuals with an income of more than $500,000 and couples with an income of more than $1 million.

The Senate bill
The Senate bill does not currently have a public option. If an employee at a business of 50 workers or more buys government health insurance, the company will be charged an annual fine of $750 per employee for not offering insurance.

Insurers would be free to charge older customers three times more than what they charge younger customers. Individuals earning incomes up to 133 percent of the poverty level ($10,830 for an individual, $22,050 for a four-person family in 2009) would be eligible for Medicaid.

Funding for the health care reform would come from a 40 percent excise tax on costly insurance packages, as well as a .9 percent raise in payroll taxes for Medicare for individuals earning high incomes.

Source: Reuters

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