After months of talking about health care reform, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced major legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system. House Democrats unveiled the 1,000-plus-page bill, called America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, on July 14, and it includes most of President Barack Obama's key proposals on health reform.
One of Obama's promises was to require large employers to contribute, and the House bill includes that. If large employers don't offer health care, they'll have to pay a tax that's about 8 percent of payroll. Small businesses with a payroll of less than $250,000 are exempt; the tax phases in on payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000.
To be sure, there's a long way to go — maybe months — before the bill becomes law. It has to pass the House and get through the Senate, where many changes could be made.
Nevertheless, the bill marks significant, measurable progress on Obama's promise, and we rate it In the Works.