U.S. House healthcare reform bill formally unveiled

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
The U.S. House of Representatives officially released its version of healthcare reform legislation Tuesday. And, as requested by President Obama, the reform package should come to a vote by the August recess, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

The final version of the bill contains many of the same provisions recently discussed in draft proposals, including billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid to help fund the changes, and a public insurance plan that would in many ways mimic the Medicare program. The House bill also contains a measure that would force pharmaceutical companies to provide drugs for dual-eligible seniors-those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid-at a 34% discount, as opposed to the current 14% discount. A large proportion of dual-eligibles are nursing home residents.

Garnering the lion's share of attention, however, is a proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans and some small businesses to fund the rest of the proposal. While benefiting from improvements for funding for their residents, many small, privately run nursing homes also could be hurt by a tax on small businesses.