By the narrow margin of 219 to 212, the largest healthcare overhaul in decades was approved in the House on Sunday — and is set to become law.
President Obama is expected to put his signature on the bill today.
While there is plenty of buzz surrounding the Senate’s healthcare passage, the majority of the bill won’t go into effect until 2014.
After the Senate bill was passed, the House voted 220 to 211 on a companion bill meant to makes changes to the original package. The companion bill was needed to gain enough support for the House to pass the larger reform package.
The package of changes is expected to be taken up by the Senate later this week.
So, assuming the Senate agrees to the companion bill (as it said it did), how will healthcare reform affect companies? The main change: Employers will be expected to pay a penalty of up to $3,000 per employee for not providing affordable healthcare coverage.
Among other changes, the reform bill would:
- expand healthcare coverage to some 32 million Americans — 95% would have coverage by 2019 versus the 82% today
- prohibit insurance providers from denying coverage to individuals with preexisting health conditions
- do away with lifetime limits on healthcare coverage, and
- allow dependents to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until their 26th birthday.
To aid in the payment of the healthcare reform package, a number of industries (including insurance providers and drug-makers) will be hit with a series of tax increases and fees.
Stay tuned. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the companion bill.