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Comparing congressional health care proposals

MANAGED CARE April 2007. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Comparing congressional health care proposals

MANAGED CARE April 2007. ©MediMedia USA

A review of health care reform bills proposed by Congress shows that many of them would cover more uninsured Americans than the current administration proposal. The review, conducted by the Lewin Group on behalf of the Commonwealth Fund Commission, determined that in addition to reducing the number of uninsured Americans, the proposals would also decrease overall health care expenditures — including expenditures for insurance administration and prescription drugs.

The analysis looked at 10 health care plans introduced in the 109th and 110th Congresses. In addition to reviewing President Bush's and other sweeping proposals, researchers looked at more modest ideas such as expanding existing public health insurance programs such as Medicare and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The report also suggested that these proposals could serve as a first step toward universal coverage.

Highlights of congressional health care proposals

A simulation model was used to estimate the number of people who would gain coverage under the proposals and what the bills' effects would be on national health care expenditures overall and on federal and state governments, employers, and households. The number of uninsured in the United States is projected to rise in 2007 to 47.8 million, 16.2 percent of the total population.

  President Bush's tax reform plan Healthy Americans Act Federal/state partnership AmeriCare
Aims to cover all people  
Individual mandate or auto enrollment  
Employers share responsibility  
Public program expansion    
Subsidies for lower income families  
Risk pooling  
Comprehensive benefit package  
Quality and efficiency measures
Uninsured covered in 2007 (millions) 9.0 45.3 20.3 47.8
Net health system cost in 2007 (billions) ($11.7) ($4.5) $22.7 ($60.7)
Net federal budget cost in 2007 (billions) $70.4 $24.3 $22.0 $154.5
Source: The Commonwealth Fund