Congress hopes to approve health care system reform legislation this year, a key House member says.
Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said cuts in the Medicare Advantage program are likely to be one of the means used by Congress to pay for health care system reform.
The House bill also will include a “public option,” or a provision that will give working people the ability to participate in a government-run group health plan, Pallone said.
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Pallone said the government also will offer to subsidize private insurance plans devised to cover those without health coverage.
That approach is a compromise between the proposals of liberal advocates of a single-payer program and the proposals of conservative advocates of keeping the current system, Pallone said.
“We will seek to have these programs designed so they will compete with each other,” Pallone said.
A House bill also will include an individual health coverage ownership mandate, Pallone said.
“We want the wealthy people and the young people to be in the pool, because that will bring down the total cost to everyone,” he said.