Kennedy produces health care bill

You can read Kennedy’s actual bill here. If you’re not up to reading all 615 pages, find a few reports below. 

(For the conservative response, see this story in The American Spectator.)

This from the AP story on the Kennedy bill:

Americans would be able to buy long-term care insurance from the government for $65 a month under a provision tucked into sweeping health care legislation that senators will begin considering next week.

The 651-page bill, released Tuesday by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., would revamp the way health insurance works. Insurance companies would face a slew of new government rules, dealing with everything from guaranteed coverage for people with health problems to possible limitations on profits. Taxpayers, employers and individuals would share in the cost of expanding coverage to nearly 50 million uninsured  Americans.

The story also notes, in fact, leads with this:

Americans would be able to buy long-term care insurance from the government for $65 a month under a provision tucked into sweeping health care legislation that senators will begin considering next week.

That’s a expensive item but in effect, Medicaid already pays for a lot of  nursing home patients who stay more than a year. It takes about that long for even middle class patients to “spend down” to the eligible level.

Dementia units cost $4,300 month and shared nursing home rooms cost $80,000 year, according to Met Life’s 2008 report on the cost of long tem care. The average bill at an assisted living facility – which neither Medicaid nor Medicare covers– is $2,500 to $3,300 a month.  

Also see reports on the bill from the LA Times and NPR.

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