Victims' Rights Caucus


HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As President Obama heads into a bipartisan health care summit this Thursday, the White House for the first time unveiled its own health care plan. It is essentially the Senate Democratic health care bill, but with a couple changes -- an individual mandate requiring everyone to buy insurance, and an expansion of Medicaid.

Republicans, who wanted to start healthcare reform from scratch, gave it an instant thumbs down.

In addition, the president's plan would expand the original bill offered only to union members, delaying a new tax on expensive, so-called Cadillac plans for everyone until 2018.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was one of the main authors of the house version of the health care reform. Pelosi was in Houston to promote the effects of the administration's stimulus package Monday, but many simply wanted to know if President Obama's latest healthcare proposal will actually become reality.

Pelosi held the long planned round-table discussion with Port of Houston authorities early Monday morning, but it occurred just hours after President Obama unveiled a revamped health plan, a plan the speaker says has potential.

"Equity for the states that is in this bill, closing the loophole for seniors on Medicare, those kinds of initiatives, and a change of how the legislation is paid for," Pelosi said.

While Speaker Pelosi says she plans to encourage all sides to look into the latest, at least one member of the Texas delegation says the new bill looks a lot like the old ideas.

"His idea is to move healthcare from the private sector to the government sector," said Republican Representative Ted Poe. "That's the biggest problem with it, plus we don't have the money, the taxpayers don't have the money and Congress can't afford to appropriate the money to pay for it."




In reality, neither Republicans like Poe, or even the speaker herself, have had a chance to pour over the fine points of the proposal , which includes:

Barring insurers from setting lifetime caps or denying coverage of pre-existing conditions

State health insurance exchanges to ensure competition