Senate Finance Committee Clears Health Care Overhaul Bill

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The Senate Finance Committee votes 14-9 to approve its $829 billion overhaul of the health care system, which includes several changes to the tax code as part of an effort to reduce the bill's cost. The heavily amended chairman's mark, dubbed the America's Healthy Future Act, includes a 40 percent excise tax on health insurance premiums in excess of $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for families. The legislation provides for a higher threshold of $9,850 for individuals and $26,000 for families for those who work in professions designated as high-risk and for individuals older than 55. The Finance Committee plan would create three new nonprofit entities that would provide an alternative to government-run insurance and help jumpstart health care cooperatives as competitors to private insurers, a committee aide says.

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