While marking-up the Kennedy health care bill, Republicans on the Health, Pensions, Education and Labor Committee (HELP) introduced at least seven amendments designed to lower subsidies for Americans who purchase coverage through the Exchange. Now Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are pushing the same agenda, asking Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) to accept at least 27 separate amendments to reduce the Committee’s far less generous affordability measures.
Premiums under Sen. Max Baucus’ health plan would be five times as large “as under the HELP bil” yet Republicans want to finance the repeal of health industry taxes, incentives for states to cap non-economic malpractice awards and expanded Health Savings Accounts, by slashing subsidies:
|Kyl Amendment #D5||The amendment would strike the Medicare DSH provision, replace it with other language.||The amendment would tie the premium tax credit to the lowest cost bronze plan.|
|Cornyn Amendment #D4||Provide a positive update for physicians reimbursed under the Medicare fee schedule beyond 2011.||Strike the premium tax credit for individuals between 300-400 percent of FPL under Title I, Subtitle C of the Chairman‘s Mark.|
|Bunning Amendment #D3||Deletes the provision in the Chairman‘s mark that requires the Medicare Commission‘s (or Secretary‘s) original proposal to go into effect automatically if Congress has not passed legislation based on the Commission‘s (or Secretary‘s) proposal by a certain date.||Paid for by reducing the federal poverty level threshold for premium credits in the bill by the amount necessary, starting with the premium credit for individuals between 300% and 400% of poverty.|
|Enzi Amendment #D2||Provide incentives through temporary increases in federal Medicaid match rates to states that adopt caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases.||Reduce the subsidies as much as necessary to make this amendment budget neutral starting with subsidies awarded to individuals earning 400% of poverty.|
|Grassley Amendment #C12||This amendment would suspend any fees for two years following an announcement of an economic recession by the National Bureau of Economic Research.||It would be offset by eliminating any subsidies in the Chairman‘s Mark for individuals and families between 300 and 400 percent of federal poverty level ($66,150 to 88,200 for a family of four).|
According to an analysis of the Baucus bill by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, families of three earning anywhere between $54,930 per year (300% FPL) and $73,240 per year ($400% FPL) would have to spend 13% of income on health care premiums or somewhere in the range of $7,141 – $9,521 per year. (Comparatively, families in this range would spend $4,339 – $9,155 under the HELP bill).