10 Things You Must Know About The Healthcare Bill That's Just Days Away From Being Voted On

Still confused about what all the ruckus is about in Washington?

Don’t be.

Though the actual healthcare bill is nearly 2000 pages long, and filled with all kinds of legalese and goodies and gifts to politicians, it can be broken down into a few basic elemants.

10 things to know about the healthcare bill >

Increases health care tax credits for most people

Popular with: Everyone but the poor

This proposal is more aggressive than the old Senate and House versions and will increase the cost of Obamacare:

The President's Proposal improves the affordability of health care by increasing the tax credits for families. Relative to the Senate bill, the President's Proposal lowers premiums for families with income below $44,000 and above $66,000. Relative to the House bill, the proposal makes premiums less expensive for families with income between roughly $55,000 and $88,000.

Source: White House

Discontinues sweetheart deal for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson; spreads pork nationwide

Popular with: Everyone but Nebraska

By adding support for all 50 states, this proposal will increase the cost of Obamacare:

Relative to the Senate bill, the President's Proposal replaces the variable State support in the Senate bill with uniform 100% Federal support for all States for newly eligible individuals from 2014 through 2017, 95% support for 2018 and 2019, and 90% for 2020 and subsequent years. This approach resembles that in the House bill, which provided full support for all States for the first two years, and then 91% support thereafter.

Source: White House

Increases prescription drug coverage for seniors

Raises penalty for most people who decline health care

Popular with: Low income individuals who don't want coverage

This proposal will increase government revenue, leading to a decrease in the cost of Obamacare:

The House and Senate bills require individuals who have affordable options but who choose to remain uninsured to make a payment to offset the cost of care they will inevitably need. The House bill's payment is
a percentage of income. The Senate sets the payment as a flat dollar amount or percentage of income, whichever is higher... The President's Proposal adopts the Senate approach but lowers the flat dollar assessments, and raises the per cent of income assessment that individuals pay if they choose not to become insured.

Source: White House

Significantly increases penalty for companies that don't provide coverage

Popular with: Democrats

This proposal will increase government revenue, leading to a decrease in the cost of Obamacare:

The Senate bill requires large employers (i.e., those with more than 50 workers) to make payments only if taxpayers are supporting the health insurance for their workers. The assessment on the employer is $3,000 per full-time worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange if that employer's coverage is unaffordable, or $750 per full-time worker if the employer has a worker obtaining tax credits in the exchange but doesn't offer coverage in the first place... It changes the applicable payment amount for firms with more than 50 employees that do not offer coverage to $2,000.

Source: White House

Popular with: Republicans

This proposal will decrease government revenue, leading to an increase in the cost of Obamacare:

The President's Proposal changes the effective date of the Senate policy from 2013 to 2018 to provide additional transition time for high-cost plans to become more efficient. It also raises the amount of premiums that are exempt from the assessment from $8,500 for singles to $10,200 and from $23,000 for families to $27,500 and indexes these amounts for subsequent years at general inflation plus 1 per cent.

Source: White House

Gives state regulators authority to veto rate increases

Popular with: Democrats (see: Chris Dodd)

Administrative costs for regulation will increase the cost of Obamacare:

The President's Proposal strengthens this policy by ensuring that, if a rate increase is unreasonable and unjustified, health insurers must lower premiums, provide rebates, or take other actions to make premiums affordable. A new Health Insurance Rate Authority will be created to provide needed oversight at the Federal level and help States determine how rate review will be enforced and monitor insurance market behaviour.

Source: White House

Increases funding for community health centres

Popular with: Democrats (see: Bernie Sanders)

This proposal will cost more than the Senate and less than the House versions:

The Senate bill increases funding to these centres for services by $7 billion and for construction by $1.5 billion over 5 years. The House bill provides $12 billion over the same 5 years. Bridging the difference, the President's Proposal invests $11 billion in these centres.

Source: White House

Increase taxes on brand name pharmaceuticals

Popular with: People who buy prescription drugs

This proposal will increase tax revenue, leading to a decrease in the cost of Obamacare:

The President's Proposal increases the revenue from the assessment on this industry which is $23 billion in the Senate bill by $10 billion over 10 years. It also delays the implementation of these fees by one year, until 2011, and makes changes to facilitate administration by the IRS.

Source: White House

Initial Republican response?

From Washington Post:

'At first glance, this seems to be an admission from the Obama administration that their massive government takeover of health care will, despite their promises, increase health-care premiums for millions of Americans,' said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Boehner.

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