During last night’s speech, President Obama finally proposed a few concrete ideas for health care reform:
-Insurance companies could no longer exclude certain individuals from obtaining coverage; lifetime maximums would become illegal.
-Small businesses and other uninsured individuals could obtain insurance at reasonable cost through co-ops or exchanges.
-Individuals would be required to obtain health insurance or face a penalty. Businesses would be required to provide insurance for employees or pay a fee.
-A public insurance option could be used to spur competition in markets dominated by a few insurers, but is not a requirement for the final bill.
-There would be a cap on health care spending. Excessive spending would trigger automatic Medicare cuts.
-The $900 billion price tag would be paid for by savings gleaned from reducing waste in the current health care system. The final bill would be deficit neutral.