Health reform relies on a patchwork of insurance regulation, subsidies, penalties, safety-net expansion and newly created insurance exchanges to expand coverage. Not included under the reform law is a public health plan, but a House bill unveiled last week would create one and the Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers. Here's what the CBO found:
The plan would be offered exclusively through insurance exchanges and would cover 13 million, or one-third, of those expected to gain coverage in the exchanges by 2019. But doctors and hospitals may not be eager to accept patients covered by the public plan, which will pay providers at Medicare rates* and often less the private plans (though with so many insured by a public plan, it may be hard to reject), the CBO said.