Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said of the bill unveiled by House Democrats, â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s going to go anywhere in the Senate.â€
The bill creates a government insurance option, increases insurance regulation, and raises taxes on the wealthy to help pay for it. It immediately draws Republican fire.
By Noam N. Levey
July 15, 2009
Reporting from Washington — Capping months of work, House Democratic leaders on Tuesday introduced their plan for a sweeping remake of the nation’s healthcare system. Among the provisions in the 1,018-page bill: creation of a new government insurance option, increased regulation of the insurance industry and other steps to ensure near-universal medical coverage for the first time in U.S. history.
The bill would also set out new initiatives to begin curbing costs in a healthcare system that is expected to consume nearly $2.5 trillion this year. And the legislation’s more than $1-trillion cost would be offset in part by a new tax on wealthy Americans.
The proposal, among the most liberal of several competing blueprints for revamping the system, drew swift criticism from Republicans and more than 30 business groups, many of which have supported some form of change.
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