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.