The Associated Press, via Huffington Post, reports today that Senators Kennedy and Dodd have released the details to their health plan. It just might work:
The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The AP obtained a copy.
The letter indicated the cost and coverage improvements resulted from two changes. The first calls for a government-run health insurance option to compete with private coverage plans, an option that has drawn intense opposition from Republicans.
Additionally, the revised proposal calls for a $750 annual fee on employers for each full-time worker not offered coverage through their job. The fee would be set at $375 for part-time workers. Companies with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt. The fee was forecast to generate $52 billion over 10 years, money the government would use to help provide subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance.
Obviously, this raises a lot of questions. Specifically, the employer responsibility aspect. However, if the price tag is correct, can effectively insure that many people, and provide quality care then we need to push for this. Seeing as this is the first report, I’m skeptical, but optimistic.
I would be interested in hearing what you think. Please leave a comment and we’ll discuss further.