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What's in the bill

Here's a look at what is in the Senate health-care bill and how that compares with the House reconciliation package

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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
Makes insurance available to an estimated 94 percent of non-elderly citizens by dramatically expanding Medicaid and offering tax credits to Americans who would otherwise find it difficult to afford coverage. [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Makes insurance available to an estimated 95 percent of non-elderly citizens.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
Individuals must purchase insurance or pay a penalty that would be the greater of $750 or 2% of income by 2016.

[Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Adopts the Senate approach but lowers the assessment and raises the percent of income that individuals would pay if they chose not to become insured. Individuals must purchase insurance or pay a penalty that would be the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of income.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
The Senate bill does not include an employer mandate, but requires companies with 50 or more employees to help defray the cost if taxpayers are footing the bill for their workers.

[Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Also penalizes companies with 50 or more employees, but helps mid-size businesses by exempting the first 30 workers when calculating the tax ($2,000 annually per non-exempted employee). For example, a firm with 51 workers would pay 51 minus 30 times $2,000, or $42,000.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
The new insurance exchanges can offer plans that cover abortion, but people who choose those plans must pay for their coverage with separate checks — one for abortion coverage, one for the rest of their health care services. [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: No change.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
Would be financed through billions in Medicare cuts and new taxes, including a tax on insurance plans that are worth more than $23,000 for a family of four. Couples making more than $250,000 would pay additional Medicare payroll taxes. [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Scales back the tax on high-end Cadillac plans and delays its imposition to 2018, but increases the tax's impact in the years following. Also imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income for couples making more than $250,000 a year.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
Sets up 50 different exchanges, administered by the states, where people without employer-based coverage will buy insurance. [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: The subsidies to help low and middle-income families buy coverage are larger than in the Senate bill, but the rate at which they will increase over time is lower, meaning that coverage may become somewhat less affordable.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
Medicaid would be expanded to cover everyone earning under 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($29,327 for a family of four). [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Seeks to address states' concerns about the cost of expanding Medicaid by increasing the federal share of covering newly eligible people. It also jettisons the special deal that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) secured for his home state.
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WHAT'S IN THE SENATE BILL
The Medicare drug benefit would expand to partly close the “doughnut hole” in coverage for retirees. [Chart]IN RECONCILIATION: Closes the hole in drug coverage over a decade, starting with a $250 rebate this year, half what was in the Senate bill. After that, the gap would gradually shrink, with drug companies giving 50 percent discounts on brand name drugs and the government increasingly paying the rest until patients, by 2020, have to pay just 25 percent of the costs. New government help with generic drugs during the phase-out.

Karen Yourish, Laura Stanton and Kenneth W. Smith Jr. -- The Washington Post

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