October 29th, 2009
10:42 AM ET
11 years ago

House Democrats unveil $894 billion health care bill


John Dingell wields the gavel used when he chaired the committee that passed Medicare legislation in 1965 during an event at the U.S. Capitol unveiling the House of Representatives' Affordable Health Care for America Act (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - House Democratic leaders unveiled a sweeping health care reform bill Thursday that includes a more moderate version of the government-run public health insurance option.

The bill - a combination of versions passed by three House committees - includes what is termed a "negotiated rate" public option. It will cost $894 billion over 10 years and extend insurance coverage to 36 million Americans, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

The bill guarantees that 96 percent of Americans have coverage, Pelosi's office said. The figure is based on an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

"Today, we are ... laying the foundation for a brighter future for generations to come," Pelosi said on Capitol Hill.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Tony

    It'll be entertaining to see the accounting practices used to justify calling this "deficit neutral" over 10 years.

    October 29, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Spirit of America

    If it does not include a robust public option, the bill is worthless except for corporate welfare.

    October 29, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Matthew

    "Pelosi's office says the bill would not increase the federal deficit." Funniest joke I have heard this week. Put some lipstick on that PIG and sell it Nancy. The surchage on the wealthy and the non-tax tax of letting the Bush tax cuts fade away is going to do wonders for the economy. Taxpayers are not going to be rushing out spending $$.

    October 29, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. GI Joe

    Vote the party of NO out as soon as possible.

    Obstructionists that line their pockets and do nothing for us need to go.

    October 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Jefe

    I hope everyone gets reasonable access to healthcare, but my main concern -and probably 90% of American's main concern- is cost reduction.

    I say we fund healthcare through excise taxes on bad foods. It shouldn't cost $1 for a fast-food cheeseburger when it costs $9 for a pack of cigarettes. It should be less expensive to eat healthy than to eat unhealthy. If it was, our healthcare costs would be drastically reduced. Diabetes, the care of which represents a major portion of total healthcare spending, rates have doubled over the last 10 years. It didn't happen my magic, it happened mainly by choice. When 8% of the population is harming the other 92%, something needs to be done to curb the harmful behavior of the 8%. Massive excise taxes, similar to those on tobacco producs, for bad foods would be a great, two-way solution to both fund and curb the costs of healthcare.

    October 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. D.H

    I dont know what the Republicans are crying about, they cant stand for the poor to have anything! Where were they when the Bush administration started the war in Iraq. where were thier voices about all the lives taken or the COST!!!! They complain about healthcare!! Republicans are rich & dont care about the poor people. They fight everything Obama stands for.

    October 29, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. Death Assurance Companies

    Heads are going to roll Nancy if this bill is as watered down as we are told.You should have rammed the right bill down their throats like Bush would have done.

    October 29, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Obama Victim

    who is the bigger idiot....the ones who designed this.....or the fools that support it.................you know who you are

    October 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. JK Ashburn, VA

    Poor congresscreatures. Many of them had not gotten past the pictures in the first 10 pages (of 1200) of the last version and now they're going to have to start over reading a new one. I hope the new version has some more interesting pictures because I know congresscreatures are more interested in photo-ops then actually reading text.

    October 29, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Malt

    Obama and Pelosi are pushing through the worst legislation. Medicare II is not real reform. It is just a way for Obama to put a feather in his cap and say that he fulfilled a campaign promise. If Democrats really wanted reform, they'd start small, simple and focused and fix obvious problems relating directly to costs.

    Democrats: the party of "NO" good or orginal ideas–universal healthcare is failing in MA and most of the other parts of the world (sustainability, quality of care, innovation...).

    October 29, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. JK Ashburn, VA

    Pelosi says it will not increase the federal deficit. How can you tell when she's lying? Her lips are moving (though with all the botox, they don't really move very much, anymore).

    This price tag is premised on future Congress's reducing reimbursement rates to doctors and hospitals under Medicare - something they have never done in the past. So, this is a complete fiction - as we've come to expect from these self-serving morons who "lead" our country.

    October 29, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  12. JK Ashburn, VA

    A pity they are ignoring the easiest ways to get the price tag down: tort reform and interstate competition for insurance companies. Utterly amazing how political ideology prevents anything sensible from emerging from the muckhole called "Congress".

    October 29, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    These idiot Democrats just don't seem to be able to get it through their prodigiously thick skulls that the country can't afford to waste a trillion bucks!

    And finance it by gutting Medicare and Medicaid? Yeah, right. Like the AARP will let anyone touch Medicare, and the slime who keep buying their own re-elections by giving away other people's money are going to vote for trimming Medicaid. No, in the end, it would be financed the same way the Dems always finance things, by taxing the hell out of not only the people Pelosi chooses to define as "wealthy"–i.e., anyone with a positive net worth in assets–but out of everyone else as well.

    October 29, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Bren

    They will be trying to get moderate/blue dog Dems from conservative districts to support a public option --after the elections in Virginia and New Jersey on Tuesday.

    The Republican is going to win Virginia. And, even if the Republican does not win New Jersey, but comes very close-this is still going to scare the blue dogs--as New Jersey is a Democrat stronghold state.

    I "believe" that more and more blue dogs are going to begin to say "no way" to any public option--unless they want to commit political suicide in 2010 and 2012.

    October 29, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Wow what a bargain: only 894 BILLION?????

    The tax payers are STILL paying for this.

    Illegal health care: 894 billion
    Gutting the constitution: Priceless

    Nobama- keep the change

    October 29, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. me happy- at 4:20 each day

    Ha Ha, hey, what's another $894 billion? Just charge it! LOL!

    The dollar lost more than 20% of its value since the beginning of the year; we may as well charge it all up while China is still willing to give us some credit, and before the dollar becomes worthless.

    October 29, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. fumblinstumblinoidiot

    Not going to increase the federal defecit??..not going to be paid for by money borrowed from China??..do nancy and her gang of college educated idiots believe that everyone in this country flunked basic math..America is broke from bailing out the banks,automakers,insurance companies etc??..tax the rich??..there aren't any left??..voodoo economics folks!!

    October 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. single mom

    I'm starting to lose track of all these!
    It looks as if the Dems are putting these plans forward in reaction to polls and calls to Congressional offices. That's not the best way to lead a country.

    October 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Potomac Wonderfool

    If negotiated rates are OK for the healthcare bill, it should be OK for the Medicare too. The media has been reporting that more and more doctors and health care facilities are refusing to accept medicare patients because of inadequate rates. Health care bill or not, medicare policies of cost reduction, in the face of rising health care costs is going to lead to a defacto rationing of health care for seniors because there will be fewer service providers. I had to pay so much money for my kneecap surgery, but I could afford it today. In the future, I am not so sure. Is that a prelude to death panels for medicare? You don't need republican fear mongerers to talk about death panels. Democrats are leading us there.

    October 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. j

    Looks like the top 1% may have to give back a portion of the huge tax breaks they enjoyed under Bush. All theTEA Partiers, etc being financed by rich special interest groups and individuals may just have to "lump it". I feel as sympathetic for them as they for us.

    October 29, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Dave

    I wonder if any of these Democrats are even going to read this 1990 page monstrosity? What a joke.

    October 29, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. SouthPhillyBallz

    Most Americans know that Republicans rail against health care reform because they're more interested in protecting (and getting money and votes from) the wealthy and the very industries that are gouging us for medical care. Do Republicans realize that we know this? There's no legitimate good reason to vote against health care reform so it makes it crystal clear to those who didn't already know that the GOP is not looking out for the majority of Americans. How can they not care that they're making their motives and interests so obvious?

    October 29, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. bmw

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (and probably elsewhere) has sent a mass mailing to everyone who is insured through them. Blue Cross requests that we contact our Democratic Senator, Kay Hagan, and even includes a postage paid postcard to Senator Hagan recommending that she vote against any legislation that includes a public option or statewide cooperatives.

    I've changed key words in the text of the postcard so that the message SUPPORTS the public option. My thanks to Blue Cross for providing a simple way to notify my senator of my position on this issue. I hope many others will do the same.

    Obviously the executives at Blue Cross are more interested in their own multi-million dollar bonuses than they are in the health of the American people.

    October 29, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Mark L.

    WAY TO GO MADAME SPEAKER – Nancy Pelosi !! And G-D BLESS YOU, ALWAYS !! My only real concern is how much longer is it going to take until we have a Final Drafted Bill Agreed Upon by both the House and Senate and ready to be signed into law by President Obama, along with the proposed Public Option? I hope this is NOT going to extend to next year's elections. It's GREAT to be a LIBERAL Democrat !!

    October 29, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. Ken in NC

    I just checked the Republicans health care proposal at their website and I think it is cheaper. Their proposal would be cheaper because it does not include Seniors. In fact, Seniors are not even mentioned in their proposal. That's one way to cut cost for sure and also to cut Republican votes too.

    October 29, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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