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RAND: Obama Reform Plan Would Insure 30 Million, Cost Less than Congress Plans

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, February 26, 2010

The number of uninsured Americans would be reduced by 30 million, or 56%, by 2019 under President Obama's health reform plan, about the same as in the Senate and House versions of health reform proposals, according to a new study released by RAND Health.

Also under the President's plan, which was released Monday, the number of non-elderly people with employer-sponsored plans would go from 156 million to 162 million, and the number of insured through Medicaid or State Children's Health Insurance Programs would go from 38 million to 50 million.

The number enrolled in an exchange or non-group plan would rise significantly—from 17 million to 29 million, somewhat similar to the Senate and House plans.

The findings were generated using a micro-simulation model created through RAND COMPARE, the company's project that provides health reform proposal comparisons.

"Although the president's plan is most similar to the bill passed in December by the U.S. Senate, our analysis found that there would be a few differences in where the newly insured obtained coverage and in the costs to the government," said Elizabeth A. McGlynn, associate director of RAND Health and co-leader of the COMPARE project.

The RAND report also said that total spending on Medicaid under the President's plan would be lower than the level that RAND predicted for either the Senate plan or the House plan, and subsidy costs would be lower under the President's plan than under the Senate bill because of small differences in subsidy and penalty structures of the two plans.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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