ANALYSIS: House Bill More Affordable Than Senate Legislation

PelosiHouse3A rough analysis of the affordability measures in the House and Senate conducted by Sonia Sekhar at the Center for American Progress Action Fund demonstrates that the House health bill provides more affordable coverage than the latest available version of the Senate legislation. While the chart below does not provide a perfect comparison between the amount an average family of four would spend on coverage within the exchange, it’s the first actual representation of the premium differences under the two bills.

Both measures provide subsidies on a sliding scale. Under the Senate bill, families between 133-300%FPL have to spend between 2 and 12% of their income on premiums, while families between 300-400%FPL, spend 12% on premiums. In the House legislation families between 150 – 400% of the federal poverty line would spend between 1.5 and 12% of income on premiums. Cost sharing amounts also vary.

The chart below estimates what families will pay for coverage (premiums and cost sharing) in the Exchange in year one, 2013:


The chart relies on the language in the Chairman’s Amendment to the Senate Finance Committee bill and the the text of the House bill (H.R. 3962). It comes with several caveats. First, we took the projected premiums and average out-of-pocket costs of a “silver” plan from the CBO’s analysis of the Baucus bill and deflated both amounts (using the CBO’s CPI projections for premiums and cost sharing) to 2013 dollars. Note that the actuarial value of the silver plan in the Senate Finance bill is 70%, while it’s 75% in the House bill, a difference we did not control for. The premiums and cost-sharing amounts will be slightly different for each bill, though not significantly so.

Read the rough affordability tables HERE.