The battle over health care reform reached another milestone Thursday as top House Democrats unveiled sweeping legislation that includes a highly controversial public health insurance option.
The nearly 2,000 page bill -- a combination of three different versions passed by House committees -- would cost $894 billion over 10 years and extend insurance coverage to 36 million uncovered Americans, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It guarantees that 96 percent of Americans have coverage, Pelosi said. The figure is based on an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Among other things, the bill would subsidize insurance for poorer Americans and create health insurance exchanges to make it easier for small groups and individuals to purchase coverage. It would also cap annual out-of-pocket expenses and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Pelosi's office said the bill would cut the federal deficit by roughly $30 billion over the next decade. The measure is financed through a combination of a tax surcharge on wealthy Americans and spending constraints in Medicare and Medicaid.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Let the battle begin: