Barack Obama's overhaul of the American health care system is quietly taking shape, and Democrats and Republicans both say a consensus plan looks likely. Politico reports on what the health reform bill, which must be passed by August, might look like: Guaranteed insurance for all Americans, who will probably be required to buy it, and will be able to keep it when they switch or lose jobs—with taxes on the top-earning Americans paying for much of the cost.
Other major features of the compromise plan may include:
- An "Orbitz for insurance" marketplace that will let individuals and employers compare plans side-by-side, which has strong support from both the GOP and Dems.
- Taxes on health benefits provided through employers to help cover the $1 trillion cost.
- Mandates on citizens to buy coverage or else face tax penalties. Some Republicans are pushing for an automatic enrollment system.
- A public insurance program to compete with private care—though that Democrat-led fight has a way to go.