Affordability and Health Reform: If We Mandate, Will They (and Can They) Pay?

November 20, 2009

The health reform proposals being considered in both houses may impose responsibilities on both individuals and employers to have, and help pay for, coverage.

Subsidies for some small businesses and for individuals with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level have been proposed. But will individuals and businesses be able to pay the amounts required of them above the subsidies? If those costs are onerous, Congress may exempt many people from the coverage requirement or significantly reduce the penalties for noncompliance.

If that occurs, will enough healthy individuals purchase new coverage to adequately spread risk? How generous will subsidies in the final reform package be? What costs – both premiums and out-of-pocket – will individuals and families face? How will small employers be able to afford coverage for their employees?

To address these questions and others, the Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund sponsored a November 20 briefing. Panelists were: Sara Collins of The Commonwealth Fund, DeAnn Friedholm of Consumers Union and Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation. Ed Howard of the Alliance and Rachel Nuzum of The Fund co-moderated.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

DeAnn Friedholm Presentation (PowerPoint)
Sara Collins Presentation (PowerPoint)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources