Saturday, March 20, 2010

U.S. Democrats Release Final Health Care Bill

U.S. Democrats have released their final health care bill.

A vote in the House of Representatives on the landmark legislation is expected Sunday.

Among the bill's highlights:

  • 32 million currently-uninsured Americans will gain health care coverage by 2014;
  • No public option or government insurance plan is included in the legislation;
  • Most Americans will be legally required to buy health care coverage;
  • Denials of coverage for children with pre-existing conditions will be immediately prohibited;
  • Denial of coverages for all adults with pre-existing illnesses will be banned, effective 2014;
  • The bill does not include the restrictive abortion language demanded by Representative Bart Stupak.

The new legislation is summarized here by AP: Democrats release final health care overhaul bill

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

Update - Obama Says Bill Will Pass

US President Barack Obama led Democrats in a triumphant, fist-pumping rally Saturday and confidently predicted Congress would rise to a century-old challenge and pass his health care overhaul.

"It is in your hands, it is time to pass health care reform for America, and I am confident that you are going to do it tomorrow," told his allies on the eve of a cliffhanger House of Representatives vote. "Let's get this done."

...Using a blend of expanded government health programs and subsidies for millions to buy private insurance, the bill would add some 32 million Americans to the ranks of those covered for a total of 95 percent of Americans a century after Theodore Roosevelt called for a national approach to US health care.
- GJW

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