In a narrow vote, the US House of Representatives signed off on the Senate’s national health care plan. The bill will now move onto the White House to, presumably, be signed by President Obama.
The final vote on the plan was 219-212, with 34 Democrats joining all 178 Republican members of the House in opposing the bill.
At a projected cost of $940 billion over 10 years, the plan is intended to provide healthcare to over 30 million currently uninsured Americans.
Under the plan:
-Insurance for families of four making up to $88,000 (or 400% of the federal poverty level) will be subsidized.
-Medicaid is being expanded to cover those making up to 133% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that would be approx. $29,000.
-Families earning over $250,000 will see an increase in the amount of money the pay to Medicare from their paychecks.
-Insurance companies that provide high-end health plans (those valued at over $8,500 for an individual or $23,000 for families) will see a significant tax increase.
-You will be required to have health insurance or be fined either $750 or 2% of your income. A compromise package, passed at the same time as the Senate bill, would change those numbers to $695 or 2.5% of your income.
-Companies with more than 50 employees will be required to provide coverage or pay $750 per employee that relies on government subsidies for their insurance. The compromise package ups this to $2,000 per employee.
-Any woman wishing to use federally subsidized coverage for an abortion — except in the case of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life — will have to pay out of pocket or seek private insurance.
-Parents will be permitted to keep their children on their health care plans until age 26.
We expect people on both sides will have much to say about this latest development in the comments. Meanwhile, here’s a poll: