HR 3200 | What is It, and How Will We Pay for It?

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

leaves1Congress is currently considering HR 3200, otherwise known as “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009.” It’s the massive health care bill that we’ve seen coming for quite some time. provides a PDF that explains HR 3200 in detail as well as the following summary:

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.

OpenCongress Summary:
This is the House Democrats’ big health care reform bill. Broadly, it seeks to expand health care coverage to the approximately 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured by lowering the cost of health care and making the system more efficient. To that end it includes a new government-run insurance plan to compete with the private companies, a requirement that all Americans have health insurance, a prohibition on denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and, to pay for it all, a surtax on households with an income above $350,000.

A word from HR 3200’s sponsors

The emergency cash loans needed to fund HR 3200 will come from a mixture of sources. The PDF on OpenCongress is a document created by the House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor. The committees, who wrote HR 3200, say:

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act provides quality affordable care for all Americans and controls health care cost growth. … The bill builds on what works in today’s health care system and fixes the parts that are broken. It provides current coverage — allowing individuals to keep the insurance they have if they like it — and preserves choice of doctors, hospitals, and health plans.

Included in HR 3200 are provisions that will offer a public health insurance option, meaning people can get health insurance through the government instead of a private insurer. As you can imagine, some people and organizations are not crazy about this idea.

Private insurance industry says “nay”

Naturally, providers and advocates of private health care are opposed to HR 3200. Kim Priestap at wizbang says:

“HR 3200 kills the private insurance industry.  … How do the private insurance companies compete with the government run health care plan? They don’t. This bill is designed to kill the private insurance industry and force people onto the government plan. …

Senator Jim DeMint remarked that Obama’s health care reform plan will be his Waterloo if the GOP can successfully stop it, and based upon what’s in HR 3200, you better hope the GOP and Blue Dogs are successful.”

Priestap dissects a few paragraphs of the bill in her commentary on wizbang. Check it out here.

Show me the money

Regarding how HR 3200 makes health care affordable to all Americans, the House Committees say America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009:

  • Provides sliding scale affordability credits
  • Caps annual out-of-pocket spending
  • Increased competition from public plan spurs efficiency and transparency
  • Expands Medicaid
  • Improves Medicare

The plan stresses that there must be a balance between individual, employer and government responsibility. HR 3200 also has provisions to help small employers.