After months of deliberation and horse-trading, the Senate's version of health reform passed along party lines this week.
The Senate bill includes key differences when compared with the health care reform bill the House passed in November. Those contrasts need to be worked out in conference committee negotiations before Congress votes on a final bill. Such a tally will not occur until early 2010.
Learning about the House and Senate bills can help you understand how health care negotiations might affect your health coverage—and, ultimately, your wallet.
Key similarities between the Senate and House legislation include the following provisions:
Regardless of how you feel about the bill, don't expect to feel the effects right away if it passes. Most of the provisions described above wouldn't take effect until 2014, although the aforementioned 0.9 percent payroll tax would begin in 2013.