Negotiators shape final health care bill

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C-SPAN cameras haven’t been allowed into the White House to record the final negotiations on health care overhaul, but details are starting to filter out. A look at what’s likely to be in the final package, and what’s likely out:

IN: Private insurance plans sponsored by the same federal agency that oversees government employee benefits.

OUT: Government-operated health insurance plan to compete with private carriers.

IN: Tax on high-cost health insurance plans.

OUT: Counting the value of dental and vision benefits in figuring the insurance tax. (This eases the bite.)

IN: Increased federal aid to help all states expand their Medicaid programs.

OUT: Special deal that covered 100 percent of Nebraska’s Medicaid expansion indefinitely.

IN: New health insurance supermarkets — called exchanges — for individuals purchasing their own coverage and small businesses. Federal government sets rules, but states share responsibility.

OUT: Letting states have sole control over insurance exchanges.

IN: Subsidies to help middle-class households purchase coverage through the exchanges.

OUT: Steep penalties for people who ignore a new federal requirement to carry health insurance.

IN: Taxes on upper-income earners; penalties for employers who don’t provide coverage.

OUT: Stiff payroll taxes on companies that do not provide health insurance to their workers.

IN: Consumer protections that prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with medical problems.

OUT: Coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit. The so-called “doughnut hole” would be phased out.

IN: Powerful commission to recommend ongoing Medicare savings.

OUT: Cuts in guaranteed benefits under traditional Medicare.