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President Obama offers a fresh $950 billion proposal that would reduce the number of middle-class households affected by an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans as part of an effort to find additional Senate support health care reform. “Think of this as the opening bid for the health care meeting,” says White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer. Democrats and Republicans are set to hold a televised bipartisan health care “summit” on Thursday to look for common ground on the bill so the legislation can move forward. The president's proposal begins with the Senate-passed bill (H.R. 3590) and makes a few changes to some of the most controversial elements, namely additional federal Medicaid funding for Nebraska and a 40 percent excise tax on health insurance policies that cost more than $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families. More » … The legislation includes a $20 billion excise tax on the medical device industry, a proposal that was vigorously opposed by the devices industry as part of the original House and Senate bills.
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