Nancy Pelosi showed off the House’s sweeping health care reform bill today, boasting that it was a historic step toward providing quality health care for nearly all Americans. The bill, which officials say will cost roughly $900 billion over 10 years, would cover 96% of the country, requiring nearly everyone to buy health insurance by 2013. Individuals could do this on a regulated exchange, where private insurers would compete with a new public option.
Until then, temporary government programs will provide help for people who’ve been turned away from private insurance companies, reports AP. The plan will also significantly expand Medicaid. No Republicans are expected to vote for the bill, complaining that it would raise taxes on upper-income earners, and cut Medicare payments to insurers. "Americans' health care is too important to risk on one gigantic bill that was negotiated behind closed doors," says one Michigan Rep.