The Spokesman-Review

Details of costs of Baucus health care plan

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009, 7:33 A.M.

A rundown of the new spending in Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ health care overhaul bill, and a look at how it’s paid for.

The numbers are 10-year totals covering 2010-2019. Baucus pegs the overall cost of his plan at $856 billion over a decade; the Congressional Budget Office puts it at $774 billion. Baucus aides say the discrepancy is mainly because Baucus is adding up all the costs of the bill to get a gross total, while CBO uses some net numbers.


— Expanding Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program: $287 billion.

— Subsidies to help low-income people buy insurance: $463 billion.

— Tax credits to help small employers insure their workers: $24 billion.

— Averting payment cuts to doctors under Medicare for one year: $10.9 billion.

— Paying more for prescription drugs for seniors under Medicare: $17.4 billion.

— Assorted other costs, including wellness promotion programs in Medicare; a child obesity demonstration project and innovation center within Medicare and bonus payments to encourage more primary care doctors: around $54 billion.

Money from taxes, fees and cuts to government programs

— Excise tax of 35 percent on insurance plans worth more than $8,000 a year per person, or $21,000 a year per family: $215 billion.

— Limit to $2,000 a year the amount people can contribute to flexible spending accounts: $16.5 billion.

— Fee on drug makers: $17.2 billion.

— Fee on health insurers: $40.5 billion.

— Fee on medical device manufacturers: $30 billion.

— Fee on clinical laboratories: $5.6 billion.

— Penalties paid by uninsured individuals: $20 billion.

— Penalties paid by employers for employees who enroll in government-subsidized care: $27 billion.

— Other new revenue: $39.8 billion.

— Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid: About $500 billion (largest cut is about $125 billion to private Medicare Advantage managed care plans that serve around 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries).

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