On Saturday, November 7, 2009 the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Affordable Health Care for America Act. This legislation:
- Establishes a Health Choices Administration to facilitate a Health Insurance Exchange which includes a public health insurance option.
- Imposes a 5.4% surtax on individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000, or $1 million for joint filers.
- Requires employers to offer health benefits to employees, providing an exemption for payrolls less than $500,000.
- Allows the HHS Secretary to make incentive payments to states that adopt alternative medical liability laws.
- Requires that primary care services provided to Medicaid recipients be paid at 100% of Medicare rates as of 2012.
- Provides 5% bonus to Medicare payments to primary care providers, 10% bonus for those providers practicing in primary care health professional shortage areas.
- Extend Physician Quality Reporting Initiative to 2012 and requires PQRI integration with Electronic Health Records Reporting. Also establishes a feedback and appeals process for participating providers.
A more extensive analysis of H.R. 3962 will be published on the NCMS Web site in a few days.