As announced yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats will unveil the health care bill they plan to bring to the floor this morning. The long awaited legislation will come in at under $900 billion. Like the Senate bill, its public option will reimburse providers at negotiated rates--though unlike in the Senate bill, states will not be allowed to opt out.
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Pelosi had pushed in recent days for a more robust public option, which would have saved more money. To make up for those lost savings, the House bill will lower the Medicaid threshold to 150 percent of the poverty line (it was originally expected to cover everybody below 133 percent of poverty).
The employer and individual mandates will be more robust than in the Senate bill, and, as a result, the bill is expected to cover millions more Americans. The $900 billion will be covered by a mix of taxes on high-income earners, industry contributions and savings wrung from existing government health care programs. That means it will not expand the deficit for at least the first 10 years.