What's in the Health Reform Bills?

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Anne Dunkelberg /(512) 320-0222 x 102

February 15, 2010

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The Kaiser Family Foundation released mid-January poll results that found Americans squarely divided on national health reform proposals—at least at first glance. The poll went on to show that large proportions of Americans are unaware of the major provisions of heath reform bills, and their support increases dramatically when told about provisions like tax credits to help small businesses cover their employees, health insurance exchanges where coverage options can be compared; closing the Medicare drug benefit “doughnut hole,” and eliminating denials and rate hikes because of pre-existing conditions.

The sometimes raucous debate over hot-button issues (and outright untruths) of the last 6 months has worked against Americans getting a clear picture of the framework of health reform. This Policy Page provides a high-level outline of the key insurance coverage elements of the Senate bill, noting areas in which compromises with the House are likely.