Pelosi Drops House Version Of The Health Care Bill

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Oct 29, 2009 11:44 AM
It will cost $894 billion over 10 years, and to nobody's surprise, includes a public option that states can opt-out of (they still have to pay if they opt-out, thought). It's 1,990 pages, almost a quarter longer than the Senate bill.

It requires pretty much everyone to sign up for health care insurance by 2012, and by doing the funky-Washington math, decreases the national deficit by $30 billion. Riiight.

This new bill:

  • taxes medical devices 2.5 percent
  • adds marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors as Medicare providers.
  • requires restaurants to put calorie information on the front of menus
  • provides for a Tribal Health Programs, which gives extra taxpayer money to doctors who decide to work on Indian reservations. It also sets aside special benefits for Indian women.
  • expands Medicaid to 150% of the federal poverty level
  • makes vending machine operators post nutrition facts of products on the side of their vending machines.
  • draws its definition of "toxicity" from five different sections in the Federal Code
  • defines "small employer" as a company that has a payroll of less than $750,000.