by Dee Newman
Today, the House of Representatives unveiled its version of health care reform.
Some of the more controversial reform measures are contained in the House bill, including a mandate for all Americans to acquire health insurance. It also contains a government-run health insurance option and a provision prohibiting private insurers from raising rates or denying coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions.
Except for small businesses, employers would have to offer workers insurance or pay a fee of 8 percent of a worker's wages.
The legislation comes at a price of over $1 trillion over 10 years to be pay for in part by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans who make more than $1 million a year and by recovering revenue from cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending.
President Obama praised the House for its "unprecedented cooperation to produce a health care reform proposal that will lower costs, provide better care for patients and ensure fair treatment of consumers by the insurance industry."
He went on to say, "I look forward to continuing to work with all House members in ensuring this legislation helps all Americans and plays an essential role in reducing deficits and bringing fiscal sustainability to our nation.”
Now, it is time for the Senate to cooperate and produce a health care reform proposal that will, at the least, do the same.