Congress

Health Care Back on Track?

Could President Obama's health-care push finally have a bill to rally behind? Senate Democrats are discussing a new plan that would cost $611 billion over the next decade and include a public health-insurance option to compete with private companies. Efforts at health reform suffered a devastating setback last month when another proposed health plan in the Senate was determined by the Congressional Budget Office to cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years while only covering 16 million uninsured Americans. The newer, cheaper plan is seen as a more politically sustainable option thanks to its lower cost. The new approach, according to Sen. Chris Dodd, would cover 97 percent of Americans and raise additional funds by charging fees to businesses that don't offer employee health insurance and to private individuals who don't acquire health insurance. "We are on the cusp, on the brink, of doing something here that is absolutely critical," Dodd told Bloomberg News.