What's in the health care reform bill's final draft.

How to fix health policy.
March 18 2010 11:29 PM

Health Reform 3.0

What's in the health care reform bill's final draft.

Click here for a guide to following the health care reform story online.

(Continued from Page 1)

The lost revenue is made up by extending the Senate bill's Medicare surtax on families earning more than $250,000 to cover investment income. I'm a little befuddled as to why Republicans aren't raising holy hell about this—President Obama first proposed it nearly a month ago—but they aren't, and that's great, because in the absence of a straight-up income-tax-rate increase on high earners (which I'd still prefer), it seems just and fair.

Do Medicaid docs get a raise? The House-passed bill brought pay for primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients in line with pay for primary care physicians who treat Medicare patients, which is higher because our government till now has judged old people more deserving of medical care than poor people. The Senate bill did not bring Medicaid fees up to Medicare levels. The reconciliation bill reinstates the House raise for Medicaid docs. The next necessary reform will be to do the same for specialists who take Medicaid patients.

Advertisement

Does it close the doughnut hole?The 2003 Medicare expansion to cover pharmaceuticals left a gap in drug coverage for seniors who spend more than $2,700 annually and less than $6,154. (These amounts change from year to year.) The House-passed bill closed the gap. The Senate-passed bill didn't. The reconciliation bill does.

There's more, of course, but these strike me as the most important features. Time to stop dithering, Congress, and get this baby to the Rose Garden!

E-mail Timothy Noah at chatterbox@slate.com.

Become a fan of Slate on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.