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According to Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, their legislation would extend health insurance coverage to 21 million uninsured people over 10 years at a net cost of $611.4 billion. Combined with separate legislation being developed by the Senate Finance Committee, senators said their healthcare reform plan would bring the total number of newly insured people to 41 million by 2019, or 97 percent of the projected U.S. population, excluding illegal immigrants.
Under the new provisions, employers with more than 25 workers would be required to either provide "affordable" coverage or pay the government an annual fee of $750 for each full-time employee and $375 for part-timers. "It's a cost, I realize that, but a modest cost indeed," said Dodd. The business community in general, and groups representing small employers in particular, strongly oppose such requirements, though Wal-Mart this week endorsed the concept of the employer mandate.
The bill also includes a mandate that individuals obtain health coverage, a policy Obama opposed during his presidential campaign but has since indicated he would support, with possible exceptions for those who prove that having insurance would pose a financial hardship.
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I can't believe the gov't is poised to take over health care. Granted, they're in it too much already, which is why doctors are groaning over all the paperwork and insufficient payment via Medicare and -aid.
Somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with their current health-care plans, a point Obama acknowledged at his press conference. The politically savvy Obama realized early on that fear of the unknown would be a major hurdle for the type of health care changes he wanted to offer. HillaryCare collapsed in 1994 because Americans were rightly worried that it would force them to give up coverage and health care providers they liked. Learning from that blunder, Obama asserted from the beginning that his plan would change nothing for the millions of Americans who are satisfied with their current plans.