Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress department devoted to providing research and analysis on legislative issues to Congress, has issued a report analyzing the two health care reform bills: "A Comparative Analysis of Private Health Insurance Provisions of H.R. 3962 and S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590." (pdf).
The Executive Summary provides in part:
. . . . This report compares the private health insurance provisions of H.R. 3962 and the Senate Amendment. Individuals currently receiving health insurance through a large employer would likely see the least direct impact from the bills. The largest changes would occur in the private health insurance market for small businesses and for nongroup coverage (currently, insurance obtained directly from an insurance company, broker or agent). The most substantial of these reforms would not take effect until 2013 under H.R. 3962, and in 2014 under the Senate Amendment. At full implementation, the required private health insurance market reforms should be fully in place, along with subsidies to certain low- and moderate-income individuals ineligible for Medicaid. At full implementation, the bills would require most individuals to obtain and, in the House bill, for larger employers to offer and contribute toward health insurance. Although the Senate Amendment does not have an explicit "employer mandate," employers who do not offer coverage could face substantial penalties. . . .