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More Information On Amendments To House Health Care Bill

Over the past two days, amendments were offered to the House Tri-Committee bill in Education and Labor Committee, Ways and Means Committee, and Energy and Commerce. I’ll sort the amendments accepted by committee below. You can check out the full list of amendments accepted and rejected in the Education and Labor Committee compiled by David Waldman (KagroX at Dailykos) at his website, Congress Matters.

 Education and Labor House Committee

  1. The substitute  amendment by Rep. George Miller (D) opens the national insurance exchange to more small business, retirees who see their health coverage go down or costs of care go up, and families whose insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs add up to more than 11 percent of their income – a change that would all give underinsured families the option to select a non-employer-sponsored health plan.
  2.  The committee also accepted an amendment by Rep. Hirono (D) that provided a waiver for Hawaii’s state-based health care system, and also allowed an amendment from Rep. Wilson (R) that gave a waiver to Tricare from complying with the requirements of the bill. Rep. Wilson also got another amendment that requires anyone in Congress that votes for the health care bill to give up their overage under the Federal Employee Health Benefit program and opt into the public option.
  3. The committee passed an amendment by Rep. Kucinich (D) that allows states that adopt a single-payer system to be exempted from the bill’s requirements. It passed with a bipartisan vote of 29-18. Thirteen Republicans joined to vote for it.
  4. Rep. Hunter (R) passed an amendment that allows small employers to opt out of the bill’s requirements based on showing proof that they would lose jobs as a result.
  5. Rep. Diana Titus (D) passed an amendment that expanded the number of employees that a small business could have from 10 to 15 employees in order to participate in the exchange and public option in the first few years of implementation. She also voted against the final passage of the bill due to concerns about surtax on the top 1.2% of wealthy affecting small businesses.
  6. Two stopgap amendments were adopted–one by Rep. Davis (D) that allows uninsured people to be eligible for COBRA insurance until the exchange and public option is running. The other one by Rep. Courtney (D) shortened the period that individuals may be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.

That is the information I currently have on amendments to the bill from the Education and Labor Committee. Now here’s information on amendments adopted in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Energy and Commerce House Committee

  1. Rep. Sullivan (R) offered an amendment that required the HHS Secretary to study whether any duplicative programs were created by the overhaul, and after a report to Congress, eliminate these programs. The amendment wouldn’t have passed if not for six of the Blue Dogs on that committee. It passed on a vote of 29-27.

  2. Rep. Harman (D) offered an amendment that was adopted on a bipartisan vote. It would authorize grants to states to set up programs to help military medics become emergency medical technicians.

Ways and Means House Committee

  1. Rep. Rangel (D) offered a manager’s amendment that raises $8.2 billion over 10 years by preventing taxpayers by using FSA health accounts,and HSAs for the purchases of OTC medicines It includes a $4 billion provision that allows people to avoid paying taxes on employer-provided health insurance, and expands this inclusion to same-sex couples.
  2. The Republicans were able to remove a provision from Rangel’s manager amendment that expanded the eligibility of those to file certain lawsuits on behalf of Medicare.

If you find anything else about other amendments that were accepted, please let me know, and I will add more to the information above.

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