Analysis of Health Reform Bills Highlights Similarities, Differences, Impacts, and Costs

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<p>A <a href="/publications/fund-reports/2009/oct/updated-january-7-comprehensive-congressional-health-reform">new report</a> prepared by Commonwealth Fund researchers analyzes the similarities, differences, potential impacts, and costs of the three comprehensive health reform bills passed by key U.S. congressional committees. As explained in the report and an online <a href="/usr_doc/site_docs/webcast/Articulate/Congressional_Health_Reform_Legislation/player.html" target="_blank">slide presentation</a> narrated by Karen Davis, Fund president and report coauthor, the Senate and House bills all include provisions that seek to expand and improve health care coverage by building on the strongest aspects of our current private–public insurance system—employer-sponsored plans, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program—and reorganizing and regulating the individual and small-group insurance markets.</p>
<p>In addition, all of the bills would:</p>
<li>require insurers to offer coverage to all Americans who apply, and prohibit health plans from denying coverage or charging more based on people's health; </li>
<li>create a new health insurance exchange or exchanges; </li>
<li>set an essential benefit standard for health insurance; </li>
<li>provide subsidies to people who cannot afford their insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs;  </li>
<li>require all individuals to have health insurance; and </li>
<li>have employers share responsibility for financing coverage.</li>
<p>The bills also aim to improve health care quality and outcomes, control costs and revise provider payment systems, and invest in primary care and prevention. Some noteworthy differences are highlighted as well, including varying approaches for financing reform, controlling costs, and expanding coverage.</p>
<p>In addition to the report and slide presentation, you can also view interactive tables that provide side-by-side comparisons of the <a href="/usr_doc/site_docs/slideshows/CongressionalHealthReformBills/System.html" target="_blank">system reform</a> and <a href="/usr_doc/site_docs/slideshows/CongressionalHealthReformBills/Insurance.html" target="_blank">insurance coverage</a> provisions in the three bills.</p>
<p>As health reform legislation evolves, be sure to visit <a href="/" target="_blank"></a&gt; for updates to the report and companion resources.</p>