WASHINGTON (CN) – House Democrats released proposed legislation on Friday that will force employers to contribute to their employees’ health coverage, require citizens to buy health care, and establish a government insurance program that will compete with private insurance companies.
The draft bill, they say, will give coverage to all Americans and slow the growth of health-care costs, all while working under the current health-care system.
President Barack Obama has called on health-care reform, but has left the drafting of the bill to Congress.
The proposed legislation reflects what Obama has called for in reform. He has said he wants a bill that will slow the growth of health-care costs and that will encompass the currently uninsured.
In her testimony Friday, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors to the president, Christina Romer, added that legislation which ends the exclusion of preexisting conditions is “non-negotiable” for Obama.
She suggested that Obama is not looking for drastic changes, saying he wants to work with the current system. That statement matches up with comments Obama made in his speech to doctors Monday, when he all but rejected a single payer system like that used in France and Canada, deciding to leave coverage largely to the private sector.
The bill comes days after Republicans drafted their own bill.
New York Democrat Charles Rangel, chair of the Ways and Means Committee, wrote the bill along with California Democrat Henry Waxman, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and California Democrat George Miller, chair of the Education and Labor Committee.