House leaders now drawing up legislation to reshape the U.S. healthcare system have called for mandatory individual insurance coverage, which would be sold either through a national or state-based "exchange," and would include a government-backed plan to help control costs, according to a draft outline of provisions released Monday.
The House bill, negotiated through three committeesWays and Means; Energy and Commerce; and Education and Laborincludes an option to scrap the sustainable growth rate formula, widely seen as flawed, and would gut the Medicare Advantage program by eliminating federal overpayments.
The bill would also align provider payments with recommendations made by the Medicare Advisory Payment Commission, create payment alternatives for those health systems that promote coordinated care and would focus on preventive health measures. Government plans, such as Medicaid, would also be expanded and subsidies offered as a way to help defray the cost of coverage.
All told, provisions outlined in the draft document almost ensure a higher price tag than legislation being considered in the Senate. Nevertheless, both parties have so far been stumped in finding ways to pay for a massive bill that could top more than $1 trillion over the next decade.