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Pelosi Unveils Dem Health Care Bill: All 1,990 Pages of It

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After weeks of closed-door meetings, minus C-SPAN, the Democrats released the House version of the health care reform bill. At the unveiling this morning, House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, proudly had this to say, “The Affordable Health Care for America Act is founded on key principles of American success: opportunity, choice, competition and innovation. We have listened to the American people. We are putting forth a bill that reflects our best values and addresses our greatest challenges. And we are putting it online for all Americans to see”.

According to The Washington Post and other news outlets, the 1,990-page House bill includes plenty of mandates and regulations, a version of the “public option”, and declares that 96 percent of Americans will have health insurance coverage and estimates that the cost of the bill over 10 years will be $900 billion. President Obama’s statement included his praise for the progress in health care reform and a public option. He added his satisfaction with the House bill and that, ” [it] clearly meets two of the fundamental criteria I have set out: it is fully paid for and will reduce the deficit in the long term.”

The proposed legislation can be downloaded as a PDF file via the Washington Times’ and
Reuters’ coverage
, of this monumental movement toward health care reform, yet the battle over how to fix this issue may be far from over. As we speculate whether congress will read this huge, complex House bill, we can now anticipate debates to emerge, hopefully uncovering the most relevant question –– is this what the American people really want? And at the end of the day (or year), what will health care reform look like, how much will it cost, and who’s going to pay for it?

About Christine Lakatos

  • Baronius

    The House already had a bill, and the Senate had four. Is this new one the conference bill, or do the House and Senate still have to meet to work out a final bill?

  • Christine

    Bar, this is the one combined with a few others.

    New York Times:
    and the 1,990-page measure they rolled out on Thursday is a combination of bills approved by three separate House committees over the summer.

    In its size and scope, the House bill is very similar to a measure under development by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, who is seeking to combine bills passed by two committees.

    So I guess it is a yes, to your last question: the House and Senate will duke it out for the final bill!

  • John Wilson

    “…is this what the American people really want? And at the end of the day (or year), what will health care reform look like, how much will it cost, and who’s going to pay for it?”

    Better we should ask this of the Iraq and Afghan wars.

  • Christine

    Good point, John, however, this is not a war thread.

  • John Wilson

    I never saw a discussion of war cost on BC. Nor in congress.

    Why don’t we just trade in one war for UHC? At least we’d improve the health of the American people.

  • Baronius

    Can we trade in SCHIP and get another war?

  • John Wilson

    An excellent question:

    “…how much will it cost, and who’s going to pay for it? ”

    We should ask the same question of wars that we enter.

    We should ask that question of ALL congressional bills, shouldn’t we?

    For example, there are seven bills in congress to increase the loss-carryback period for businesses from 2 years to 5 years. They are: S.1937, S.1835, H.R.2452, S.823, S.293, H.R.561, and S.156. You can look them up on

    This chargeback liberalization for business will result in a huge windfall to business as they revise the last 5 years of tax returns to show lower profits.

    Thus, the US will OWE them some money back! Lot’s of money! Money that’s already spent on, say, foreign wars.

    It’s a big handout to business.

    How will we pay for it?

    Where are our budget hawks, fiscal conservatives, and tea-baggers when we need them?

    I notice that a couple of those bills are sponsored by Olympia Snowe and a couple by Sam Brownback, famous budget worriers. Why are they not worried? They have no “PayGo” provision in their bills.

    The only reference I could find to paying for any of these handouts was in S.1835 where one will find this curious statement:

    “(g) Transfers to the General Fund- From time to time, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the general fund of the Treasury an amount equal to the reduction in revenues to the Treasury resulting from the amendments made by subsections (a) through (f).”

    Who will pay?

  • zingzing

    this headline kinda sucks. i thought we were going to get a discussion on the page lengths of various bills that pass through congress.

  • Baronius

    Well, Zing, the first bill was about 1000 pages. If every new generation of the bill increases its size by 1000, we’re looking at a 3000-page law. If every new generation doubles it, it’ll be 4000 pages. I’m sure that every word of it will be clear, and necessary.

  • Christine

    Zing, sorry I disappointed you! The tag line (“We are putting it online for all Americans to see.”) kind of tells you a little about what you were getting, plus it is labeled as a News Flash!

    Plus you can download all 1960 pages and read it! You would be way ahead of all those on Capital Hill!

  • zingzing

    not every word of this sentence is absolutely necessary. i really don’t give a shit about the size of the thing. it’s what it does that’s important.

    ulysses is about 700 pages. finnegans wake is about 600. which is more complex?

    the trial is about 250 pages, while the latest harry potter is 900 or something. which does more?

  • Christine

    Zing, I hear ya and we all want to know what is in it, but unless we read it ourselves (and hire a few lawyers to interpret) we will never really know. And I am curious as to why you are so easily agitated? I am sure you are a nice person, however, your comments on BC kinda reflect another perception.

  • zingzing

    nah, that’s just how you read my comments. i’m not agitated. although i am a little bit confused as to how page counts make something good or bad.

  • Christine

    Zing, auh, I knew you were nice. But I was not making anything big out of the page count other than it can be found online as promised (good for the administration). And there has been a lot of chatter about the bills lately.

  • Leroy

    ALL of the health proposals have been online at for MONTHS!

    Laziness and disinterest account for ignorance, not unavailable information.

  • zingzing

    christine, that’s kind of why the headline got to me. it seems like people like to complain when legislation is long and complex. it’s legislation. it’s going to be long and complex. and this is a big, critical, divisive issue.

    so the headline makes it look like right-wing griping about long legislation, which is a big old fuckin red herring with a elephant load of shit tied to it.

  • Dave Nalle

    There’s so much wrong with this new bill that I can’t even decide where to start. It includes massive new bailouts for insurance companies, plus all the old idiotic mandates, 13 new tax increases, the dreadful return of the public option, and best of all it reverses past efforts at tort reform at vast potential cost to the consumer.

    It’s truly obscene.


  • Dr Dreadful

    the dreadful return of the public option

    Hey, I only wrote two paragraphs. You can’t blame all 1990 pages on me.

  • Baritone

    The bill being touted today is just what has been hashed out in committee. It will still have to be placed for open debate among other things, and will no doubt have any number and manner of ammendments attached to it before it ever reaches a vote.

    The same must happen in the Senate which still hasn’t put together a bill that can be considered by the entire body.

    If both the House and Senate manage to pass a bill, they will then, of course, have to be melded together into one bill for the Presidents signature or veto.

    As I see it, the Senate will not go along with the public option, and they will probably hold sway over the House version.

    The results will likely be a mangled mish-mash that will only further benefit the Insurance companies – the main target of all this in the first place. Even should the public option manage to survive, it will likely be just as big a mess as the rest of the bill.

    Obama and the left wingers in Congress should have originally pressed long and hard for a single payer bill. It never would have passed, but it would have started the conversation far more to the left so that something like a so called “robust” public option would not have looked so bad to moderates on both sides of the aisle.

    BTW – Joe Lieberman is a mealy mouthed turd. How he manages to remain a force amongst Dems is a mystery to me. What a little prick he is.


  • zingzing

    wait, dave is claiming he read 2000 pages in a day? some kind of record. are you a speed reading lawyer, dave? you claim to know what it all means?

  • Joanne Huspek

    Zing, it’s double spaced. Just don’t trip over the legalese.

  • Dave Nalle

    Zing, I never claimed to have read 2000 pages of it. Various groups have read it for me and posted summaries of what it contains. Amusingly they did it quickly by breaking the bill down into 200 page sections and having a dozen people read it.

    I read the 500 page version 3 times. I don’t have the copious free time to read the new version now that I’ve sold myself into slavery to certain entertainment industry megacorporations.

    What I do notice about this process is that the Congress seems to be incapable of editing anything down to the essentials. All they ever do is add more stuff. I predict that by the time this thing passes it will be 2400 pages long or more.


  • Christine

    Dave, where can I find those “posted summaries”?

  • zingzing

    dave, if it were 100 pages long, would you be happy?

  • Baronius

    “I’ve sold myself into slavery to certain entertainment industry megacorporations”


  • John Wilson

    If we’d spent 9 months discussing it in congress we’d never have gotten involved in the Iraq quagmire! If we’d worked out a 2000 page plan for invading Afghanistan we’d have grabbed OBL and gotten out.

    Ain’t it wonderful! Sometimes congressional process works. Unfortunately, we didn’t use it when we needed it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Hey, the GOP just released their health care plan…and they would LEAVE IN PLACE the HMO’s option to DENY coverage due to pre-existing conditions i.e. “We’re not going to pay for your cancer treatment because you had an acne treatment you didn’t tell us about!”

    If the GOP had their way, my oldest son would NOT be able to get health care coverage. The public option is my oldest son’s only hope to get coverage.

  • Zedd

    Zing: it’s what it does that’s important.

    Why am I so thrilled with this statement. Should not simple common sense be prevalent?

  • punktlich02

    As at least one blog has pointed out, the Bill is inequitable to Americans abroad who are in most cases already paying for national health insurance where they live and who cannot benefit from Medicare nor in most cases from any US health insurance. At this point since enforcement is in tax returns the best solution may be to revise tax treaties with foreign countries.