Raising Women’s Voices

Public Insurance Option Temporarily Set Aside for Employer Plan

Senator Max Baucus of Montana, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, announced at last Friday’s meeting that he was looking into ways to maintain employer self-insurance plans, meaning that a public payer option would be set aside for the moment, though it was “still on the table”.

Baucus said he believed that there should be a national system that allows benefits from differing state plans to transfer across state lines, but stressed that it is not his plan to interfere with employer-based health plans. “The system I envision is where self-insured companies, ERISA companies, can keep their own plans and manage health insurance in the way that they have. We’re not going to change the ways self-insured companies handle health care for employees” said Baucus.

The Senate Finance Committee will meet this Wednesday to discuss Baucus’ proposals.  The Senate has the option of using the budget reconciliation process which would allow for legislation to pass with 51 votes rather than 60.  However, many Democrats, Baucus included, have noted that the reconciliation process would not be needed if they could find a way to all work together.

Read more about this from Kaiser’s Daily Health Policy Report

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