The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on Health Care reform. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been working to merge a bill passed by the committee with a companion measure from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The Finance Committee's bill got a favorable report last week when the Congressional Budget Office estimated the committee's bill would cover 94% of eligible Americans while reducing the federal deficit.
The health insurance industry is warning that a comprehensive Senate bill would increase the cost of a typical policy by hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a year. Earlier lawmakers eased up on a requirement that all Americans get coverage. The industry, expecting to receive millions of new customers, fears that weakened penalties for failing to get insurance would let Americans postpone getting coverage until they get sick.
Late Sunday, the industry trade group America's Health Insurance Plans sent its member companies a new accounting firm study that projects the legislation would add $1,700 a year to the cost of family coverage in 2013, when most of the major provisions in the bill would be in effect. It is projected that premiums for a single person would go up by $600 more than would be the case without the legislation. The study was conducted by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers.