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

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.