Universal Health Crossing Lines

Post columnist examines bill with 12 Senate supporters, on both sides of aisle
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2008 4:22 PM CST
Senators Bob Bennett and Ron Wyden, who are among the supporters of a universal health-care plan that's "got something for everyone to dislike," Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus writes.   (getty, AP image composit)
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(Newser) – While presidential candidates are busy bickering about how to achieve universal health care, a bill in the Senate has quietly acquired 12 supporters—the biggest bipartisan coalition ever gathered behind universal health care legislation, Ruth Marcus writes in the Washington Post.  Sponsors Ron Wyden and Bob Bennett hope the radical bill—with "something for everyone to dislike," Marcus says—will be ready when the next president takes office.

Instead of paying for health care, employers would pay workers more;  Americans would be required to buy their own insurance through regional purchasing pools; carriers would be forced to charge a single rate regardless of customers’ age or health. Marcus is impressed with “lawmakers who are in for the long haul and not the easy sound bite." One analysis says federal and employer spending would fall, but costs would rise for people making over $40,000.