Under health care reform legislation proposed last week in the House and currently languishing in various committees, an estimated 47,000 uninsured residents of Rep. Pete Stark's 13th District would receive health care coverage, according to the House Committee of Energy and Commerce headed by Rep. Henry Waxman. (Click here to view the .pdf of the 13th District and here for a district-by-district rundown).
The report estimates 68,000 individuals or 10 percent of the population in Stark's district which encompasses much of Alameda County are currently uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office arrived at the figure by applying the bill's aim of achieving 97 percent of all Americans access to health care.
One of the bill's sticking points in the Senate has been an aspect of how to pay for universal health care without adding to the deficit. The House bill controversially adds a 5.4 percent surtax on families earning over $1 million a year. Some believe President Obama's campaign pledge not to tax the middle class or those earning less than $250,000 irked growing numbers of affluent Democratic supporters leading to a higher threshold for funding health care. Under this criteria, the report finds just 1.3 percent of individuals would be taxed in the district.
Many on the Republican side have warned the bill will disproportionately hurt small business owners. According to the report, businesses with less than 25 employees and average wages less than $40,000 could qualify for tax credit up to 50 percent of health care costs.