Understanding the new health reconciliation bill
Congressional Democratic leaders just released their summary of Bill #2, the health bill they intend to move through the reconciliation process.
Here is their description document. I caution you that this is a sales pitch aimed at Congressional Democrats.
Here is the preliminary CBO analysis.
Here is the legislative text, on which I am just now about to begin chewing.
Since things are moving quickly, I’m going to repeatedly update this post. You might want to bookmark it and return for updates.
The following notes are fairly technical. Most will be interesting only to policy practitioners.
Preliminary, technical, and disorganized very rough notes on the outline
There are several Byrd rule violations. This means the House will have to vote on this bill twice. The second time would be after Senate Republicans use the Byrd rule to strike these provisions from the bill, then the Senate passes the modified bill and returns it to the House. And no, I won’t tell you where all of them are. Sorry. I don’t want to help the Democrats find and fix them. Some of these are only arguable violations. I have found at least three that are clear violations.
Weaker individual mandates means more healthy people will stay out of the system and pay penalty fees until they get sick. This means premiums for the rest of us in the system will be higher, because there are fewer of us being forced to cross-subsidize the predictably high cost people (because of the guaranteed issue and community rating mandates).
Bigger employer penalties for not complying with the mandates are unsurprising when you think about the politics of the House Democratic Caucus. I’ll bet someone running a 53-person company doesn’t think he runs a big business.
More $ for poor.
One-time $250 “rebate” in 2010 for beneficiaries who reach the