House To Consider Health Care Proposals
The House Republican leadership is planning to bring several health care bills to the floor next month in an effort to "advance the GOP's agenda on health care," The Hill reports. Proposals likely to be considered "closely trac[k] the health care priorities favored by the White House," The Hill reports.
The House is expected to debate Rep. Nancy Johnson's (R-Conn.) bill (HR 4157) to advance the use of health care information technology.
The House also is likely to consider a health savings account proposal (HR 5262) sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). The bill would provide tax incentives to people who purchase high-deductible health insurance, which is required to have an HSA. The bill also would allow employers and workers to place more money in HSAs and would offer a tax credit for low-income beneficiaries to help pay for premiums.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced a separate bill that would allow Medicare beneficiaries to use HSAs.
The House also is likely to consider a proposal to create "master-charge lists" that would state the amounts that hospitals, doctors and other health care providers charge for medical services. In addition, the House might consider proposals to limit jury awards in medical malpractice lawsuits, create multistate association health plans and reorganize NIH.
A spokesperson for House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said committees will decide upon provisions to be included in the bills as they head to the floor. The Hill reports that "[n]early all" of the bills will face "staunch Democratic opposition," with one possible exception being health care IT legislation (Young, The Hill, 5/17).