Senate Democrats are scheduled to hold a press conference at 6:30 PM to reveal details of their health insurance reform legislation. As noted below, the Democratic proposal will cost $849 billion, while reducing the deficit by $127 billion.
New details via Sam Stein, including the first indication that there is a public option:
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) told reporters outside a caucus briefing that the bill includes a national public option with an opt-out provision for states, a tax on high-cost health insurance plans with an exemption for poor people and and those with high-risk jobs and language on abortion that does not go as far as Bart Stupak’s amendment in the House.
The New York Times has more on the additional funding sources:
Though broadly similar to the House bill, Mr. Reid’s proposal is expected to differ in important ways. It is, for example, likely to increase the Medicare payroll tax on high-income people and to impose a new excise tax on high-cost “Cadillac” health plans offered by employers to their employees.
Labor opposes that excise tax as their members often negotiate for better benefits at the expense of higher salaries.