Private insurance companies would be required to extend health coverage to virtually every American regardless of pre-existing conditions, medical history or genetic information and they would have the option to do so in a state-based health insurance exchange under provisions outlined in a draft bill being circulated by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
HELP draft legislation includes provisions to mandate access to coverage
Called the American Health Choices Act, the draft includes a number of proposals, including ones that would offer subsidies for people with incomes up to 500% of the federal poverty level, or $110,250 for a family of four, and another that would increase Medicaid eligibility to those with incomes up to 150% of the federal poverty level, or $33,075 for a family of four. The bill also calls for the creation of a Medical Advisory Council that would help set the terms of the insurance exchange.
The draft language, a little under 200 pages, is about one-third of whats officially expected and deals largely with coverage provisions. It doesnt include language for a public plan option.
The committee, which shares jurisdiction on health reform with the Senate Finance Committee, could begin negotiations on June 16.
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