Baucus Fleshes Out New Health Reform Compromise

To curb costs, plan would offer stripped-down coverage, add fees to health industry
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2009 9:05 AM CDT
Democratic Senators emerge from the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009, following their lunch with President Obama.    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – With President Obama’s much-anticipated health care speech to Congress on the horizon, the head of the Senate Finance Committee has rolled out a new proposal for a compromise bill, the New York Times reports. Sen. Max Baucus’ plan would offer scaled-down coverage to some, and, to cover the $880 billion price tag for expanded insurance, charge fees to insurance companies, labs, and medical device makers, rather than asking for give-backs from individuals.

Under the plan, people 25 and under would be eligible for cheaper insurance for catastrophic illnesses only, and millions of lower-income people who don’t currently qualify for Medicaid would get a scaled-down version of the coverage. The Finance Committee’s bill, which doesn’t include a public option, likely has the best chance of getting through the Senate—but four other committees from both houses already have versions of legislation on the table.