On October 13, 2009, the Senate Finance Committee voted to advance its health care reform proposal from the committee stage to an open debate on the Senate floor. Health care reform, which has been a major focus of President Obama's administration and Congress this year, is now outlined in five in-depth legislative drafts (three in the House and two in the Senate).

The Senate and the House must now debate, vote, and reconcile the drafts approved by their respective committees. However, significant challenges remain in both houses of Congress before health care reform can move to the next stage. The Senate hopes it can clear the 60-vote hurdle to get a bill through the full Senate using regular procedures. Meanwhile, the House committees continue to push for a government-run public plan option as an alternative to plans maintained by insurance companies.

The Ballard Spahr Health Care Reform Team is closely monitoring health care reform developments. To access our August 13, 2009, webinar outlining the basic provisions applicable to employer group health plans, please click here. In this interim update report, we list below the major health care reform proposals affecting employers in two categories:

  • Reforms for which there appears to be a consensus and are therefore highly likely to appear in a final bill ( "Agreed Upon Parts")
  • Reforms still under vigorous debate, within and between political parties in both houses of Congress, and whose ultimate outcome is uncertain ("Moving Parts")

Please click here for a chart showing the major proposals.

Not surprisingly, the unresolved issues relate mostly to who will pay for health care reform and how to use incentives, mandates, and taxes to ensure responsible behavior by individuals, employers, insurance companies, and health care providers. 

For more information, please contact Jean C. Hemphill (215.864.8539 or hemphill@ballardspahr.com) or any other member of Ballard Spahr’s Health Care Reform Team.


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