National Healthcare Law

Nelson Mullins Healthcare Reform Library

JUNE 2010

June 21, 2010

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148): Potential Funding Opportunities for States

The following chart provides a brief summary of many of the funding opportunities contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law on March 23, 2010 (P.L. 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152). In some instances the law would make funding available for the current federal fiscal year 2010. However, the precise timing, funding amounts, and distribution method that will be used by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) remains unclear at this time.

FUNDING CHART


APRIL 2010

April 27, 2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides that health coverage under an employee's children under 27 years of age is now generally tax-free to the employee, effective March 30, 2010.    

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that these changes immediately allow employers with cafeteria plans –– plans that allow employees to choose from a menu of tax-free benefit options and cash or taxable benefits –– to permit employees to begin making pre-tax contributions to pay for this expanded benefit.   Please see the the IRS Notice and this White House Blog Post for more information.

TEXT OF NELSON MULLINS COMP AND BENEFITS BRIEF NEWSLETTER

April 19, 2010

President Obama Nominates Dr. Donald Berwick for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE


MARCH 2010 

March 18, 2010 

Text of 2010 Health Care Reconciliation Bill; CBO Score Delivered to Speaker Pelosi

FULL TEXT HR 3590 PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
FULL TEXT HR 4872 HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2010
CBO SCORING OF HR 4872

WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR YOUNG ADULTS
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR CHILDREN
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR EARLY RETIREES
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR LATINOS
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR RURAL AMERICANS
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR SENIORS
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
WHITE HOUSE SUMMARY OF HEALTH REFORM FOR WOMEN
HEALTH REFORM LAW UPDATED - IMMEDIATE BENEFITS FACT SHEET

March 03, 2010 

President Obama's latest plans on healthcare reform highlighted in letter to leaders of Congress and public address. 

LETTER TO LEADERS
PUBLIC ADDRESS

 


FEBRUARY 2010 

February 22, 2010 

President Obama Unveils His Own $950 Billion Health Reform Proposal

Ahead of the bi-partisan healthcare summit to take place at the White House later this week, this morning, President Obama unveiled his own roughly $950 billion health reform proposal. The White House Press Release annonuced specifically that "Over the past year the House and the Senate have been working on an effort to provide health insurance reform that lowers costs, guarantees choices, and enhances quality healthcare for all Americans. Building on that year-long effort, the President has now put forth a proposal that incorporates the work the House and the Senate have done and adds additional ideas from Republican members of Congress." 

Although the White House refers to both the Senate and House version of healthcare reform as being the basis for their proposal, the proposal tracks largely the Senate passed bill. The proposal does not contain a government-backed insurance option. Further, the proposal would require greater accountability for health insurance companies, includes a big expansion of Medicaid (to be funded largely by the Federal government as opposed to the states), and increases coverage subsidies.

SUMMARY 
OVERVIEW 
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February 12, 2010 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis today announced a total of nearly $1 billion in Recovery Act awards to help health care providers advance the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (IT) and train workers for the health care jobs of the future. The awards will help make health IT available to over 100,000 hospitals and primary care physicians by 2014 and train thousands of people for careers in health care and information technology.

PRESS RELEASE

February 01, 2010

Today, President Obama sent a $3.8 trillion budget blueprint to Congress outlining billions of dollars in new spending and also slashing funding for hundreds of programs and raising taxes on banks and the wealthy.

At 1:00 pm Eastern today, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other senior HHS officials discussed the highlights of the HHS portion of the President’s proposed budget. 

In the Q&A following her press briefing, many of the questions from the gallery revolved around the looming decision regarding the SGR (sustainable growth rate). Secretary Sebelius indicated the 2011 Budget assumes zero growth and, likewise the President's Budget assumes that Congress will once again institute an SGR fix so that the planned 21% cut to physician rates under the Medicare program is not implemented. She further indicated that the President's Budget assumes that SGR is fixed for the next 10 years.

Similarly, Secretary Sebelius indicated that she expected that provider rates incorporated into the rules due out this month regarding Medicare Advantage would also have a zero growth rate incorporated in their assumptions.

When asked whether the President’s 2011 Budget assumed that health reform legislation would be completed this year, Secretary Sebelius responded “No”, but went on to day that she believed that the 2011 Budget nevertheless provided a platform upon which healthcare reform to move forward.

2011 BUDGET
THE BUDGET MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT
TERMINATIONS, REDUCTIONS, AND SAVINGS

BUDGET SUMMARY TABLES
HHS BUDGET SUMMARY  


JANUARY 2010 

January 13, 2010

Today the federal government released qualification standards for hospitals and medical professionals to receive incentive payments for adoption of electronic health records ("EHR"). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA") authorized the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") to provide incentives to healthcare providers for the adoption and "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology. The two rules issued today implement ARRA's EHR mandate.

The CMS proposed rule ("Meaningful Use Rule") defines "meaningful use" and implements the first stage of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. The Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology interim final rule ("Certification Rule") establishes the initial certification criteria that EHR technology must meet to be considered "certified" and to support the achievement of meaningful use.

MEANINGFUL USE RULE
CERTIFCATION RULE
 

January 13, 2009 

The Congressional Research Service has produced a series of memorandums that make a detailed comparison of provisions of in the House and Senate versions of the health care reform legislation. Leaders of the House and Senate are meeting with White House staff in an effort to produce a compromise bill before the President's State of the Union speech. 

CRS MEMO

January 6, 2009

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor has published the memo linked below detailing a strategy to defeat health care reform legislation. The memo identifies Democratic House members who are in vulnerable districts as being potential vote switchers who might aid Republican efforts to defeat the bill when it is put to a final vote. 

CANTOR MEMO 

January 4, 2009

Interest groups, think tanks, and policy institutes of all types are undertaking review of the health care bills as negotiations between the House and Senate leaders begin. Below is linked a helpful timeline of effective dates in the two bills. This document was produced by the HR Policy Association, the Association of Chief Human Resource Officers.

HR POLICY ASSOCIATION TIMELINE OF EFFECTIVE DATES 

DECEMBER 2009 

December 30, 2009 

The opponents of health care reform legislation in Washington and across the nation are exploring the options available to block final passage of the legislation and to mount a legal challenge to the legislation once passed. In the below linked document, thirteen (13) Attorneys General from across the nation write to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Ried to express their intent to bring a constitutional challenge to provisions that exempt Nebraska from certain expenses under the Medicaid program. This exemption was a key agreement made during the Senate's debate on the legislation in order to gain the support of moderate Democrat, Senator Bill Nelson (D-NB). 

ATTORNEYS GENERAL LETTER 

December 29, 2009  

While the nation celebrates the holiday season and prepares to usher in the new year, staff for the House Tri-Committee is hard at work to provide House members with information needed to prepare for the process of reconciling the House and Senate versions of Health Care reform legislation. Outlined in the below linked document produced by the Tri-Committee staff is a detailed review of about 50 key provisions in controversy between the House and Senate. 

TRI-COMMITTEE STAFF CHART 

December 19, 2009 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues to press his colleagues to complete work on the health care reform legislation prior to the Senate leaving for the Christmas holiday. 

Today, Senator Reid (D-NV) released the text of his manager's amendment that will make changes to the bill and incorporate key provisions expected to solidify the support of all 58 Democratic Senators and the 2 Independents that caucus with them. Below, in addition to the text of the amendment, are two analyses of the fiscal impact of the changes proposed in the amendment, one by the Congressional Budget Office and the other by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

MANAGER'S AMENDMENT
CBO ANALYSIS
JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION ANALYSIS
SECTION BY SECTION MANAGERS AMENDMENT 

December 02, 2009 

A memo from Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) outlines 15 parliamentary measures Senate Republicans can use to block President Obama's health care reform legislation. 

FULL MEMO  


 

NOVEMBER 2009 

November 30, 2009 

A new 'microsimulation' by MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber concludes that under the Senate's health-reform bill, Americans buying individual coverage will pay less than they do for today's typical individual market coverage, and would be protected from high out-of-pocket costs. 

MIT ANALYSIS 

November 19, 2009  

The Senate Democratic Caucus is continuing its quest for the 60 votes required to advance health care legislation to a final vote and to build support for the legislation with the general public. 

In the below linked documents published by Senate Democrats readers will find a summary of the proposed legislation and a list of "early deliverables," that is reform requirements that will become effective within the next year.  

DEMOCRATS' SHORT SUMMARY 

DEMOCRATS' EARLY DELIVERABLES 

November 18, 2009 

Senator Harry Reid To Unveil $849 Billion Healthcare Bill 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to release the Senate proposal for healthcare reform legislation tonight at a private meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Senator Reid described the proposal as one that would save more money, be more protective of Medicare, and be better for the American people than any of the other healthcare proposals circulating on Capitol Hill. 

The estimate by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Congress's nonpartisan research office, on the proposal was that it would cost $849 billion and will reduce the federal budget deficit by $127 billion in the first 10 years. The scoring by the CBO allowed Reid to release the bill to the Caucus and is critical to his moving forward to clear the first important hurdle to bring the bill to the Senate floor for debate, the procedural vote of cloture that requires 60 votes. 

At exactly 60 members -- 58 Democrats and 2 Independents -- the Senate Democratic Caucus has the power to bring the legislation up for debate without the support of any Republican Senators. In fact, only one Republican, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is thought to be considering a vote for the bill. Although Senator Snowe voted for the bill when it was before the Senate Finance Committee, most observers believe that she will not aid the Democrats in scheduling the bill because she remains opposed to the form of the public option contained in Reid's latest proposal.

If Snowe returns to the Republican side in the voting against scheduling the bill, it will fall to Majority Leader Reid to forge unanimity within the Democratic Caucus. His focus has been on three moderate Democratic Senators, Nelson (D-N E), Landrieu (D-LA ), and Lincoln (D-AR). All three are working to shape the final legislation by withholding indication of how they may vote, although on Wednesday Senator Nelson seemed to be moving toward agreeing to cloture. Likely to be under debate are financing provisions, an antitrust exemption, home state priorities, and the scheduling of the bill itself. The latter is a response to Republican criticism that the 1,000+ page bill was being forced upon lawmakers too quickly, thus Reid is being pressured to allow a 72-hour waiting period after the bill is released to allow time to review the details. It is anticipated that Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) will require that the bill be read on the floor in its entirety. 

November 14, 2009 

A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending -- one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama's proposed overhaul of the nation's health-care system -- would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday, November 14. 

The report found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on November 7th are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.  

November 9, 2009 

House Passes Affordable Healthcare for Americans Act

Late Saturday November 7, the House of Representatives approved its version of healthcare legislation, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, by a vote of 220 to 215.     

November 5, 2009

The House of Representatives is preparing for a debate and vote on landmark healthcare reform legislation that could take place as early as Saturday. 
 

As part of the preparations, members are filing their proposed amendments to the bill with the House Rules Committee.

November 4, 2009

As the House of Representatives prepares to debate landmark health care reform legislation, amendments to the bill are becoming available.

The most recent include a second version of a substitute amendment sponsored by Republican Leader John Boehner and an amendment sponsored by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) related to increasing insurance coverage in states that do not have high risk pools. 

November 3, 2009 

Today House Minority Leader John Boehner released the text of a Republican backed substitute to Health Care Reform legislation. 

The first section of the bill strikes to the heart of the Republicans' priorities. It provides that the purpose of the Act is to "take meaningful steps to lower health care costs and increase access to health insurance coverage (especially for individuals with preexisting conditions) without--(1) raising taxes; (2) cutting Medicare benefits for seniors; (3) adding to the national deficit; (4) intervening in the doctor-patient relationship; or (5) instituting a government takeover of health care." Procedural requirement dictate that the legislation be drafted in the form of an amendment that would substitute the entire contents of the legislation supported by the Democratic majority. Debate on the health care reform legislation by the full House and the formal introduction of this amendment is expected to be scheduled during the coming week. 


 

OCTOBER 2009 

October 29, 2009 

House Version of Healthcare Reform Bill Released Today

Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a revised version of health care reform legislation. The revised bill is the version that Speaker Pelosi and House leaders expect to move to the floor of the House as early as next week. The bill is the product of weeks of deliberation within the House Democratic Caucus as the Speaker and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) seek to produce a bill that can garner the 218 votes needed for passage. The release comes months after three House Committees approved their own version of healthcare reform legislation. 

October 19, 2009 

The Senate Finance Committee has formally reported the Health Care Reform legislation sponsored by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) from committee to be calendared for consideration by the full Senate. 

Debate on the bill has yet to be scheduled as Senate Leaders and bill sponsors are working to resolve details of the bill. The Committee Report includes background and need for legislation and a detailed, section-by-section explanation of the bill in plain English. The text of the legislation consists of the text as would be codified upon enactment of the legislation. 

October 15, 2009 

Yesterday in the House of Representatives, Health Care Reform Legislation was formally reported from the three House Committees which approved the legislation earlier this year.  This procedural step may be a signal that House Leaders are prepared to schedule a definite date for debate on the landmark legislation.    

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have been working behind the scenes for a number of weeks to produce a compromise that can be "merged" by amending the bill at the floor of the full House.  As part of the effort, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer have strived to bridge the divide in the House Democratic Caucus between progressives who insist on a "public option," a government funded and administered health insurance plan, and moderate Blue Dogs who are concerned over budget constraints and deficit spending. 

October 14, 2009

Even while Democratic Senators on the Senate Finance Committee unanimously supported Health Care reform legislation sponsored by Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), some members have filed additional views in which they express hope for changes to the legislation as it moves to the floor.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) filed additional views that detail his hope that a public option and other changes to the health insurance industry will become a part of the bill. Separately, Sens. Kerry (D-MA), Rockefeller (D-WV), Shumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI) and Menedez (D-NJ) joined in filing an additional view as to the High Cost Insurance Excise Tax, one of the financing mechanisms included in the legislation. 

October 13, 2009

Today, a group of 33 state think tanks released their "Patient-Centered Reform" proposal. 
  

The proposal is described by the group as an alternative reform package that puts patients, not bureaucrats, first. The proposal is adapted from a national study by economist Art Laffer. A summary of the report along with a list of signatory think tanks and a copy of the full report can be found by following the links below...

SUMMARY REPORT 

FULL REPORT  

Senate Finance Committee Approves Healthcare Reform Legislation 

Today the Senate Finance Committee approved Healthcare Reform Legislation sponsored by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). The 14-9 vote was along party lines with the exception of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, who was the only Republican to vote with the majority party Democratic Senators.

FULL TEXT OF NEWSLETTER  

October 6, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation have completed a preliminary analysis of the Chairman's mark for the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009, the Senate version of Health Care Reform legislation.

The analysis reflects the work of the Senate Finance Committee to amend the legislation during meetings over the course of the last several weeks. The analysis carries an important caveat in that the Chairman's mark exists only in "plain English" form and has yet to be embodied in legislative language. Significantly, the analysis projects that the legislation would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits, a key priority set out by President Obama during his recent address to a joint session of Congress. The legislation also scores well on a second priority, increasing the number of legal U.S. residents who have health insurance. 

October 5, 2009 

The product of the Senate Finance Committee's work amending the Chairman's Mark has been released.  

The "plain English" version of the health care reform legislation is available.  


SEPTEMBER 2009  

September 24, 2009 

Senate Republican leaders, moving to counteract the momentum of health care reform legislation pending before the Senate Finance Committee, are distributing a chart that they say describes the convoluted process of determining eligibility for health care coverage under the legislation. 

September 23, 2009   

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius participated in a discussion with seniors about the evolving health care reform legislation.  The administration is moving to build support for the reform effort among older Americans.  Follow the link below to read a blog on the event.                  

EVENT BLOG POST 

September 23, 2009 

As the House Energy and Commerce Committee prepares to begin its mark up of Health Care Reform Legislation, lists of expected amendments have become available. 

September 22, 2009

Washington, DC - Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today released his modification to the Chairman's Mark of the America's Healthy Future Act, landmark health care reform legislation to lower costs and provide quality, affordable health care coverage.

The modifications focus largely on making care more affordable for low and middle income Americans by increasing the Health Care Affordability Tax Credit, lowering the penalties for people who fail to meet the individual requirement to have health insurance and increasing the High Cost Insurance Excise Tax threshold for people whose basic health care is more expensive. Baucus called the modification the first step in an important process that will continue to improve the bill. 

September 21, 2009 

Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Medical Association (AMA), Michael Maves has set out his organizations position on health care reform legislation pending before the Senate Finance Committee.  

In a letter to Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Dr. Maves says his group of physicians is "encouraged" by some portions of the bill; however, "AMA has serious concerns about several provisions in the mark." The letter goes on to identify AMA's objections and the reasons for those objections. This letter comes as the Senate Finance Committee prepares to hold a key mark up session on the legislation.

The House Republican Conference has released a policy brief titled, "Democrat Health "Reform" IS a massive Middle-Class Tax Increase."

This comes the day after President Barrack Obama appeared on nearly every major Sunday morning talk show to promote the health reform plan.  

As the Senate Finance Committee prepares for mark up on Health Care Reform legislation, Committee members have filed 564 Amendments to be considered. 

To help sort out the details, this post includes charts and summaries of the amendments. The amendments are categorized by the nature of the amendment. Financing Amendments address how the legislation will be paid for, Coverage Amendments address expansions of health insurance coverage under the bill, and Delivery Amendments address requirements for delivery of health care services to consumers under the bill. 

September 17, 2009           

Today, the White House Office of the Press Secretary released a "MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES" addressing the subject of Demonstration Grants for the Development, Implementation, and Evaluation of Alternatives to the Current Medical Liability System. 

It begins, "As part of my Administration's ongoing effort to reform our health care system, we have reached out to members of both political parties and listened to the concerns many have raised about the need to improve patient safety and to reform our medical liability system. Between 44,000 and 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors. Many physicians continue to struggle to pay their medical malpractice premiums, which vary tremendously by specialty and by State. The cost of insurance continues to be one of the highest practice expenses for some specialties. And although malpractice premiums do not account for a large percentage of total medical costs, many physicians report that fear of lawsuits leads them to practice defensive medicine, which may contribute to higher costs. We should explore medical liability reform as one way to improve the quality of care and patient-safety practices and to reduce defensive medicine." 

September 16, 2009

America's Health Future Act of 2009

On Wednesday September 16, 2009, the Senate Finance Committee introduced their long awaited healthcare reform bill entitled "America's Health Future Act of 2009." Although the bill released today does not yet have any Republican support, the "Group of 6" have indicated that Republicans and Democrats will continue negotiations and Chairman Baucus said he would keep meeting with his group of six ahead of the mark up which is scheduled to begin on September 22, 2009.

September 15, 2009  

CMS PROPOSES NEW PROSPECTIVE PAYMENT SYSTEM FOR RENAL DIALYSIS FACILITIES  

PROGRAM WOULD REWARD EFFICIENT, HIGH QUALITY CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH END-STAGE RENAL DISEASE 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today proposed a new prospective payment system (PPS) for facilities that provide dialysis services to Medicare beneficiaries who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The proposed PPS would provide a single bundled payment to dialysis facilities that would cover the items and services used in providing outpatient such services, including the dialysis treatment, prescription drugs, and clinical laboratory tests. 

September 12, 2009 

From Your Weekly Address at Whitehouse.gov: The President discusses a staggering new report from the Treasury Department indicating that under the status quo around half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years. He pledges not to allow this future to unfold: In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they'll go without health care not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law they won't. (To view the President's weekly address or to read the full report by the Treasury Department, follow the links below)

WEEKLY ADDRESS 

September 10, 2009 

House Energy and Commerce Committee GOP members release "Health Care Fact Check" under the letterhead of Ranking Minority Member Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) 

PRESS RELEASE 

Obama Says No Deficits, No Drain on Medicare, No Abortions, No Illegal Aliens...Oh Really?...(Continue reading this Press Release by following the link below) 

PRESS RELEASE 

September 9, 2009 

President Obama on Healthcare — Then and Now 

On September 9, 2009, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress laying out what he expects in health insurance reform.  A copy of the full text of the speech is linked below.  In addition, during the 2008 Presidential campaign now President Barack Obama announced a comprehensive health care reform proposal and laid out his positions on a number of other key health care issues.  

TEXT OF SPEECH 

September 8, 2009 

On Monday morning, September 8, 2009, two days in advance of the President's prime-time address to the joint session of Congress, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) circulated an 18 page healthcare reform summary proposal to the bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans working to draft legislation in the Senate. 


AUGUST 2009 

Congress Adjourned for the August recess.  Members of Congress and the President hold town hall meetings across the Nation.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) prepares the members of the Democratic Caucus for town hall meetings by sending them pocket cards. 

 August 25, 2009  

Congressional Research Service publishes this report on the treatment of non-citizens under H.R. 3200.          

August 3, 2009 

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) publishes on his blog a "By the Numbers" look at the Democrats' Health Care Plan.


JULY 2009 

July 30, 2009 

Empowering Patients First Act (Representative Tom Price and the Republican Study Committee: H.R. 3400) 

Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) issued the following statement after introducing the Empowering Patients First Act. This comprehensive solution for health care reform would ensure that patients control their own health care decisions and provide access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans...(Continue reading the RSC press release, or find the full text of the bill by following the links below) 

FULL TEXT 
PRESS RELEASE 

July 15, 2009 

The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today passed The Affordable Health Choices Act, landmark legislation that will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans. The bipartisan bill includes more than 160 Republican amendments accepted during the month-long mark-up, one of the longest in Congressional history.

July 14, 2009 

On July 14, 2009, House Democratic leaders introduced the America's Affordable Health Choice Act of 2009.  The three panels with jurisdiction over health policy in the House have been working together as one committee to develop a single bill that fulfills President Obama's goals of reducing health care costs, protecting and increasing consumers' choices, and guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.


JUNE 2009 

June 17, 2009 

Crossing Our Lines is a bipartisan agreement for comprehensive health reform reached by Senators Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, and Bob Dole. It is the culmination of an inclusive year-and-a-half effort that included strategic outreach to key health care stakeholders, a series of state-based public policy forums, and months of personal deliberations by the Leaders. Taken together, the recommendations ensure that all Americans have quality, affordable health coverage, while improving health care quality and reining in skyrocketing costs. Organized around four "pillars" of health reform, its policies are inextricably intertwined, and consequently work together to achieve more significant improvements in the health care system than could be achieved if they were considered in an isolated manner.

MAY 2009 

May 11, 2009 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released policy options for expanding health care coverage to the 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured. The Finance leaders will "walk through" the options at a Committee meeting on Thursday and solicit thoughts and ideas from Members on the options for expanding coverage. The options being released today are the second of three papers that Members will discuss before a Finance Committee mark-up of comprehensive health reform legislation in June.


APRIL 2009 

April 29, 2009 

The Senate Finance Committee releases "Description of Policy Options" report titled "Transforming the Health Care Delivery System:  Proposals to Improve Patient Care and Reduce Health Care Costs." 

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today released policy options for reducing costs and improving quality in the health care delivery system ahead of a Wednesday Finance Members meeting to consider the options. At that meeting, Baucus and Grassley will "walk through" the potential policy options and solicit feedback from Members that will inform the creation of the subsequent proposals the Committee will consider for a comprehensive proposal. The Finance Leaders said the draft being released today will be the first of three sets of potential option papers, each covering a different topic area that members will discuss before a bipartisan Chairman's Mark on comprehensive health care reform is developed.


MARCH 2009 

March 20, 2009 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Introduces American Health Security Act of 2009 (S. 703) 


FEBRUARY 2009 

February 26, 2009 

President Obama Outlines Principles for Health Reform 

In "Remarks by the President on the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget," Health Reform was a focus of the President's address:  THE PRESIDENT:  Before I begin, I have some good news to report.  Starting today, the recently unemployed will benefit from a COBRA subsidy that will make health care affordable.  At a time when health care is too often too expensive for the unemployed, this critical step will help 7 million Americans who've lost their jobs keep their health care.  That's 7 million Americans who will have one less thing to worry about when they go to sleep at night.  Equally important, it prevents a further downward spiral in our economy by ensuring that these families don't fall further behind because of mounting health care bills...(Continue Reading Remarks by the President by following the link below)

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT 

February 5, 2009 

Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) Introduce Healthy Americans Act (S. 391) 

After 60 years of gridlock on a desperately needed overhaul of the nation's health care system, Senator Wyden has introduced a groundbreaking proposal to provide affordable, high quality, private health coverage for everyone regardless of where they work or live. Since he first introduced the proposal in 2007, Senator Wyden has built the largest bipartisan coalition of Senators supporting a comprehensive health reform proposal since the days of Harry Truman...(Continue Reading this Press Release)