Look for a weekend showdown on health care.
Pushing toward a Sunday vote that could transform the nation’s health-insurance system, House leaders announced a $940 billion compromise Thursday that would extend coverage to the vast majority of Americans, cut billions of dollars from Medicare, and impose new taxes on the wealthy and the well-insured, the Washington Post reports.
The stakes are so high and the outcome so uncertain that Obama canceled a trip to Indonesia and Australia to continue lobbying undecided lawmakers with phone calls and invitations to White House meetings, the Post writes.
House Democratic leaders hope to approve the Senate bill along with a separate 153-page package of revisions to that bill that House members are demanding. The compromise would extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans over the next decade by expanding Medicaid eligibility and creating state-run insurance exchanges and federal subsidies for lower-income families who lack access to employer-provided coverage.
All Americans would be required for the first time to obtain insurance or face an annual penalty of $695; employers could face penalties of $2,000 per worker for not offering affordable coverage.
In exchange for the new business, private insurers would be subject to an array of rules, including a ban on the practice of denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and a requirement that adult children be permitted to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26, the Post reports.
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