Cooper plan

Primary sponsor: Rep. Jim Cooper (D) of Tennessee with an almost even split of Republican and Democratic support.

The Cooper plan is the purest version of ``managed competition.'' Everyone is required to join a regional health alliance, which uses the clout and economy of its size to negotiate with insurers to offer affordable health plans. These can include managed-care plans or traditional fee-for-service plans.

The federal government would subsidize people with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty level. The cost would be offset by limiting the deductibility of health premiums above the level of the cheapest available plan that fulfilled the standard benefits package.

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Employers would not be required to provide insurance and the government would not regulate prices.

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