Thu, November 19, 2009
World > Americas > U.S. health care reform

U.S. Senate unveils nearly US$900 bln health care bill

2009-11-19 01:31:34 GMT2009-11-19 09:31:34 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate unveiled on Wednesday night a health care reform bill that was estimated to cost nearly 900 billion U.S. dollars.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a press conference that the overhaul health care reform bill would expand health insurance coverage to 30 million more Americans.

Citing an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, Reid, a Democrat, said that the bill was estimated to cost 849 billion dollars over 10 years but it can reduce the federal deficit by 127billion dollars in the first decade and more than 600 billion dollars in the following decade.

The bill, which combines two separate drafts approved by Senate committees, will be sent to the whole floor for debate and vote, Reid said.

The long-awaited bill was finally made public after Reid held a close-door meeting with Senate Democrats late afternoon, although its details remained unknown.

U.S. media reports cited sources in the Senate as saying that public option, one of the most controversial issues about the health care reform, is included in the Senate bill, but states reserve their right to opt out after the bill is put into practice.

The House of Representative approved its health care reform bill on Nov. 7.

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