The much debated issue of health care is in the glaring spotlight of politicians and citizens in the United States. The issue of health care has been the keynote of many of President Barack Obama's campaign and political agendas. The President has posted his own proposal on the White House's web site.
The White House predicts Obama's health care plan to cost at least $950 Billion dollars in the next year, more than the Senate passed $871 billion dollar plan, but less than the House's estimated $1.05 trillion dollars, per a New York Times report. The goal of all three plans is to insure more than 31 million Americans by the year 2019. The president's proposal hopes to "eliminate a number of special deals that had been aimed at winning the votes of individual senators" for states like Nebraska to broaden federally funded Medicaid programs. Republicans call such tactics a "Cornhusker kickback” losing the support of many, including Democrat Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska.
Obama's plan lends more to the Senate's version on how to foot the bill for health care. It includes a taxing "high-cost, employer-sponsored insurance policies," much to Democratic party's dismay. The tax would not begin until 2018 but the cost of $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families (and even higher for occupations in high risk fields.) Obama's proposal also highlighted the dispersal of federal subsidies to help middle America purchase private insurance similar to the Senate's proposal. The House bill "generously" catered to poverty level families earning $22,050 to $33,100 for a family of four. Obama also lowered the Senate's eligibility threshold for Medicaid from 150% of the Houses' proposed poverty level to 133%, the Senate's amount.
On the issue of insurance covered abortions, a controversial topic amongst politicians and citizens, was completely left out of Obama's proposal. Obama's plan also entailed federal restrictions on health insurance rates. Obama left many other key issues in the hands of Congress. Thursday will be a huge day for all parties as congressional leaders will convene for the health care summit.