Primer: House vs. Senate Health BillMcClatchy/The Miami Herald has a primer comparing the House and Senate health bills.
"Most of the two bills' provisions are similar, and the cost estimates are in the range Democrats have sought. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the House bill would reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years, while the Senate would cut it $132 billion. Some difficult controversies remain. The House wants to help pay for the changes by increasing income taxes on the wealthy; the Senate would rather impose a new levy on more expensive insurance policies and raise Medicare taxes on higher-income earners. There are differences on abortion policy; the House wants to follow current federal law, which bars federal money except where the woman has been raped, was an incest victim or has her life endangered, while the Senate is somewhat less restrictive. And perhaps the thorniest issue: the public option, which Obama and Democratic leaders so eagerly sought last year. The House approved a government-run plan, but the Senate balked" (Lightman, 1/7). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.