Kennedy Floats Health Bill to Make Employers Pay

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 5, 2009 7:05 PM CDT
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, left, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, center, tour the neonatal intensive care unit of the Tufts Medical Center in Boston, June 6, 2009.    (Eric J. Shelton)
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(Newser) – Employers would be required to offer health care to employees or pay a penalty, and all Americans would be guaranteed health insurance, under a draft bill being circulated today by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's health committee. The bill would provide subsidies to help poor people afford care, and give patients the right to select any doctor they want.

Insurers would be required to provide a basic level of care and cover all comers, without turning people away because of pre-existing conditions or other reasons. It's already been known that Kennedy's health committee was planning to pursue most of the concepts outlined in the draft of the bill. But it's the first actual bill language to circulate since Congress began working on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.