Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he is pleased with the latest version of health care reform introduced Thursday in the U.S. House. Braley was heavily involved in putting the bill together and says it has all the items that the president requested.
Braley says the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would provide coverage to 96% of all Americans under the 900-billion dollar threshold of the president.
He says the bill would also not increase the deficit and says estimates are it would reduce the deficit by 30-billion dollars over the first ten years, up from six billion in the previous bill. Braley says he was pleased to get several of his amendments into the bill.
He says the one that took the most work was the Medicare agreement that changes the formula to “eliminate the inequity in how physicians and hospitals are reimbursed based on geographic differences.”
Braley says the bill also includes a prescription drug improvement. Braley says he got an amendment in the bill that allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with insurance companies on the price of drugs for seniors. Braley says he expects the Medicare provision will make it through without any trouble.
Braley says he expects there to be some “major obstacles” on a lot issues in the rules committee and possibly on the floor, but he says the Democratic leadership fully supports the Medicare provision. The bill would be financed with a combination of Medicare cuts and an income tax surcharge on people making over $500,000 annually.