WASHINGTON (CNN) - House Democrats announced their version of health care reform Tuesday, offering a proposal that includes a government-funded health insurance option while requiring both individuals and employers to participate and taxing the wealthy to help cover costs.
Democratic House leaders said the measure, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, met President Obama's requirements for health care reform by lowering costs of consumers and businesses, allowing people to keep their current plans and preventing denial of coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions.
"The House proposal will begin the process of fixing what's broken about our health care system, reducing costs for all, building on what works and covering an estimated 97 percent of all Americans," Obama said in a statement. "And by emphasizing prevention and wellness, it will also help improve the quality of health care for every American."
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said the bill was intended to repair a "dysfunctional" health care system that was draining the U.S. economy while leaving 46 million Americans without health insurance.
"We are going to accomplish what many people felt wouldn't happen in our lifetime," Waxman said.