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We Can’t Wait

H.R. 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

[ highlights complied courtesy of Venice Family Clinic ]

  1. An individual mandate.This would require all Americans, with few exceptions, to have a minimum level of health insurance. Subsidies and public insurance programs would help those with financial hardship.
  2. An employer mandate..This would require all employers to offer health coverage with various essential benefits to their employees, and to pay a minimum share of the cost. There would be some exceptions for small employers.
  3. The expansion of Medicaid. This would make the federal health insurance program for the poor (known in California as Medi-Cal) available to more people by expanding eligibility to 133% of the federal poverty level from the current 100%. (The federal poverty level in 2009 is $10,830 for an individual and $22,050 for a family of four.)
  4. Subsidies to individuals. This will provide financial assistance to help low-income and middle-class individuals purchase health coverage. Credits would be based on a sliding scale up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
  5. Subsidies to employers. This would help small employers (with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages under $40,000 per employee) with tax credits to help them provide health coverage. It would also help employers provide health coverage to retirees who are too young to qualify for Medicare.
  6. A national health insurance exchange. This would create a pool of plans through which individuals and employers could purchase health coverage with standardized benefits at varying levels. It would also require “guarantee issue,” meaning the rates insurers charge could only vary based on age, geographic location, and family enrollment.
  7. A public health insurance option (“the public option”). This would meet the same requirements as the private plans offered in the exchange and would ensure individuals have access to affordable coverage.
  8. Changes to private insurance. These would prevent insurers from excluding pre-existing conditions and provide other consumer protections.
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