Kennedy Unveils Health Care Overhaul

Senator Edward Kennedy presented his 615-page health care plan on Tuesday, kicking off Congress' debate on how to overhaul the nation's health care system. There is still no consensus on how large a role the federal government should play or how to finance the $1.5 trillion cost over the next decade. Kennedy's plan includes a powerful government oversight structure for insurance, would require private insurers to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions, and would make health insurance mandatory. Kennedy specifically left out new coverage requirements on businesses and a government insurance plan that would compete with private insurance companies to avoid antagonizing Republicans. Many were still furious and say the bill is being rushed through. The bill offers subsidies to people making up to five times the federal definition of the poverty line.