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Senate mulls over health-bill details

Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2009
A key Senate committee wrestled with details of a health plan that would allow nonprofit cooperatives to compete with private insurers and would tax healthcare benefits for the first time. Top Senate Finance Committee aides are scrubbing financing options in a bid to find more than $1 trillion needed to pay for a 10-year plan, and have settled on many details of how to expand coverage to the uninsured. Under one financing proposal, healthcare benefits worth more than $17,000 would be taxed as regular income, a cap that would be allowed to grow annually, said people familiar with committee discussions. A version of this plan was evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office last year and found to raise some $450 billion over 10 years.