By Laura Litvan
June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Democrats will work on the bill’s details next week as they struggle through “what kind of heartburn” it will cause to agree on how to pay for revamping the health-care system, Rangel, a New York Democrat, said today. He also said the measure’s cost will reach beyond the $634 billion President Barack Obama proposed in his budget request to Congress as a down payment for the policy changes.
Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.”
House Democrats plan to release their legislation next week. Obama has made a health-care overhaul a top domestic priority and is working with Congress to get legislation to his desk by October.
Democrats in the House and Senate are working on legislation that would require all Americans to have health insurance, prohibit insurers from refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and place other restrictions on the industry.
The legislation would establish online exchanges for individuals to purchase insurance and would require employers to provide health benefits to workers or pay a penalty. Some Democrats also are backing creation of a government-run program to expand coverage to the uninsured. The issue is the subject of bipartisan negotiations with Republican opponents.