Public Option: Not as Robust as Dems Hope

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After months of tense negotiations, House Democrats unveiled their retooled version of health care overhaul.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday that Congress was "on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American."

Officials claim the measure will extend coverage to 96 percent of Americans once fully phased in.

Required Health Insurance

The bill would require nearly everyone to sign up for health insurance through their employer, a government program or a purchasing exchange by 2013.

CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody explained why the public option portion of the health care bill will not be as robust as some Democrats think. Click play to watch.

Up until 2013, a temporary government program would help people turned down by private insurers because of medical problems, lawmakers said. After that, insurers could no longer refuse to provide coverage to the sick, nor could they charge more because of poor health of the insured.

The plan also calls for a significant expansion of Medicaid and it would require employers to offer insurance to their workers or face penalties.

The overhaul carries a hefty price tag of more than $1 trillion over 10 years.

Vote by Next Week?

Pelosi wants the legislation on the floor next week and she's aiming for a final vote by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

No Republicans are expected to vote for the plan.

"Americans' health care is too important to risk on one gigantic bill that was negotiated behind closed doors," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. "The Medicare cuts will hurt seniors, the tax increases will kill jobs and the government takeover of health care will increase premium costs."

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