I almost called it a “plan,” but to call it a plan would imply that they didn’t have a plan in the first place. Either way, Ezra describes it like so:
There’s not a lot of policy news in the president’s new health-care plan. The changes are pretty much what we expected: more money going to subsidies (which are now being referred to as “the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history”), an excise tax that kicks in later and affects fewer plans, a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to oversee premium increases and reject them if they’re unfair, the elimination of the Nebraska deal, and so on. There’s no public option, nor any significant retrenchment. In fact, the cost of the bill has increased by $75 billion, the result of more generous subsidies.
Now, the only really troublesome thing is that TPM is reporting the exchanges in the White House plan are state-based, rather than the more robust national exchange as seen in the House bill. I don’t know for sure (I’m in NYC today and sporadically checking the internets). At least, that’s what Beutler wrote. But I took a quick look at the document (pdf) and there’s nothing that specifies state-based or nationally-based exchanges. In fact, the White House document says:
It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.
That seems to suggest one national exchange, no? I could be wrong.
The other thing is no public option, but no one expected that anyway. It can still happen, but the momentum has to remain organic for now.
There appear to be a lot of items on the plus side. As Ezra wrote, there’s more subsidies in the White House proposal than both the House and Senate bills. The White House bill immediately closes the Medicare donut hole, while the other bills shrink it over time.