The three committees in the House with jurisdiction over health reform - Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor - have together released a draft of their health reform legislation [pdf].
It's got a strong public health insurance option, available everywhere on day one. It's got affordability provisions up to 400% of the poverty level, and caps on out-of-pocket expenses. There would be no deductibles or co-pays for preventative care. And no denying care or increasing prices for pre-existing conditions. Everyone would share responsibility for health care costs. And it would put doctors, not insurance companies, squarely in charge of health decisions.
It adds up to a bill that works. It preserves choice, so people can choose the plans and doctors that work for them. It controls costs, by establishing a strong public health insurance option to compete with private insurers and a capping personal expenses so they don't break the bank. And it extends coverage by putting insurance in reach of everyone as well as asking employers to share in the responsibility of paying for care.
As our National Campaign Manager, Richard Kirsch, said:
The House bill is resounding evidence that we can achieve the President’s goal of quality, affordable health care for all this year, and it can be done right. It’s absolutely possible.
For those who say it’s too hard, too complicated, too expensive, this bill is proof positive that we can do this in America.
That's exactly right. When you put together a good health care bill, the pieces work together, and it delivers. This is what you get when you listen to the American people, instead of vainly groping for compromises and half-measures.
The guantlet has been thrown down.