April 2nd, 2009 – Congress is working on a key piece of health insurance reform. Democratic Representative Frank Pallone, chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, is a key member of Congress and said that the House bill will include an individual health coverage ownership mandate.
Pallone said of the health insurance ownership mandate, ““We want the wealthy people and the young people to be in the pool, because that will bring down the total cost to everyone.”
Pallone said the House bill will also offer to subsidize private insurance plans for the uninsured. Congress will also include a government run group health plan. The two plans will be designed to compete with one another so the government plan will force private insurers to at least match their prices and benefit levels.
This is in sharp contrast with the Senate bill which is said to exclude the government plan altogether. Once the House and Senate bills on health reform are completed, they hope to begin working to negotiate an accord as early as this Fall.
Funding for health insurance reform will partially come from sharp cuts to the Medicare Advantage programs.
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