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House health bill pleases reformers

From NBC's Mark Murray
Democrats and liberals who read their newspapers this morning might have received some disheartening news about the prospects of achieving health-care reform. 

But this afternoon, they are cheering the draft of legislation that House Democrats have offered. Per the New Republic's Jon Cohen, the draft contains a strong public insurance option. To pay for it, House Democrats are proposing unspecified "system savings, employer contributions, and new revenues."

"I've contacted about a half-dozen friendly liberal wonks in the last 90 minutes, since the draft became public," Cohen writes. "Everybody seemed pleased. (One actually said 'Boffo!') It's possible that they are as desperate as I've been for encouraging news; maybe impressions will sour as a fuller picture of the House proposal emerges. But, for the moment, this seems like good news."

President Obama

also warmly greeted the draft. "Today, the chairs of several committees in the House of Representatives unveiled their health care reform proposal. This proposal would improve the affordability, availability, and quality of health care and represents a major step toward the our goal of fixing what is broken about health care while building on what works."

Not surprisingly, though, Republicans aren't fans. Said House Minority Leader John Boehner

in a statement: "This plan is nothing less than a government takeover of health care, and families and small businesses who are already footing the bill for Washington's reckless spending binge will not support it... This plan will make health care more expensive, reduce the quality of care for millions of families and small businesses, cost American jobs, and force untold millions of Americans off their current plans and into a government-run nightmare operated by federal bureaucrats."