Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Senate Finance Committee moves slightly closer to health bill

Smartmoney has the latest story on financing mechanisms that the Senate Finance Committee is proposing. A tax on high-cost plans is on the table; the committee will need to adjust this for region and workforce size and composition (smaller firms and firms with older workers have higher premiums); the proposed adjustment isn't sufficient.

In addition, Sen. Baucus is proposing targeted fees on players in the healthcare industry. The insurers would pay $6 billion a year. Pharmaceutical companies, device makers and clinical laboratory companies would pay $2.3bn, $4bn and $750m a year. The fees would be allocated by market share. This is affordable, frankly. Insurers have low profit margins and might need to worry about the adequacy of their capital.

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