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The Tumultuous Team of Ten

Big, big things over the last 24 hours. Here are the compromises reached by the Team of 10 that are a satisfyingly making health reform look more and more like the Dutch and German systems, in addition to a few amendment developments:

-National Public Option with negotiated reimbursements, giving states the ability to opt out


-Allow for the creation of national nonprofit plans that would be regulated by a national floor and national standards, allowing states to spread risk nationally
-Grant the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) the ability to administer and regulate nonprofit insurance plans in the Exchange, acting as a prudent purchaser of the most efficient and low-cost plans
-Increasing the medical loss ratio (premium money spent on actual care, not administration and profits) from 85% to 90%
-A national public option trigger if OPM-regulated nonprofit insurers do not materialize
-A Medicare buy-in option for individuals aged 55-64

Some more on the Medicare buy-in; The option would begin in 2011, though federal subsidies offered through the Exchange would not be available until 2014. This means that qualifying individuals would have to fully finance the buy-in and CBO estimates this to be up to $7,600. Some think that the buy-in would actually extend the solvency of Medicare by bringing in new premium dollars, but many individuals would still not be able to afford the coverage (at least until federal subsidies begin in 2014). The compromise is on its way to the CBO for a scoring….

New Amendments:

-To require gathering and reporting of enrollee satisfaction of insurance plans in the Exchange through an Internet portal: Passed 98-0
-To prohibit use of federal funds for abortion (as seen in House Stupak amendment): Failed 45-54
-Allow importation of lower-priced, FDA-approved drugs from other countries (pending)