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?