House Health Reform Bill Contains Public Option, Promises Coverage For 36 Million Uninsured

Joined by beaming Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House version of sweeping health overhaul legislation Thursday. It is a combination of the bills that emerged from the Education and Labor Committee, the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee earlier this year.

The measure, which Pelosi described as “deficit neutral,” would eventually extend coverage to 36 million more Americans. It includes a public insurance option with negotiated rates, the approach preferred by moderate Democrats. It also features expansions of the state-federal Medicaid insurance program for the poor and bans discrimination based on pre-existing medical conditions.

Pelosi said: “This is an historic moment for our nation and families. For nearly a century, leaders of every party and political philosophy have fought for health insurance reform.”

Kaiser Health News summarizes major news coverage of the bill’s provisions, some of which remain problematic for certain Democrats. And KHN also highlights coverage of Republican and business groups’ reactions.

The bill text is below.

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