POLITICS
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Final House Health Care Bill Unveiled

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled a revised health care reform bill -- known as a manager's amendment -- Tuesday evening after taking the concerns of her caucus into account.

Pelosi said late last week that she was leaning against allowing individual floor amendments, so what you see here is likely what you get.

If it passes the House, it'll be merged with the Senate version in conference committee and then will come back for one final vote before heading to the president's desk.

Rival factions within the party still differ on how far the bill should go to prevent any money that has somehow come into contact with federal money from then funding abortions, whether undocumented workers can somehow participate in the health care system short of getting treated for free in hospital emergency rooms, and whether states should be allowed to choose to move to a single-payer system if they decide to, among other differences.

The House health care bill unveiled Thursday was stripped of a provision that would allow individual states to implement single-payer health care if they elected to. HuffPost readers read through it and found that it also requires chain restaurants with more than 20 locations to post calorie information on the menu. It bars the federal government from bailing out the public option and adds that there "shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology" established by the head of the public insurance plan. And it addresses health disparities while making specific reference to protecting populations discriminated against due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

The stripping of the single-payer provision, which Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) originally moved through the Education and Labor Committee, particularly galled HuffPost readers as well as Kucinich himself. Kucinich tells HuffPost that the Congressional Budget Office scored his amendment as having zero effect on the federal budget, a sign that it was at least considered to be included in the manager's amendment.

Kevin McKeown, a city councilmember from Santa Monica, California, wrote in to protest the removal, arguing that if California passes single-payer legislation, it ought to be allowed to become law. "This year I had our city finance department calculate how much money single-payer would save just our city, just on health care for our own employees," said McKeown. "States poised to enact their own single-payer should not be disempowered by this bill."

Another reader, Jake Orlando, noted that the bill specifically mentions gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in a section dedicated to addressing health disparities. "It's a quite small mention, but at least worth noting in the LGBT community," Orlando writes. "We know the Republicans would have gone out of their way to exclude us from mention of existence."

Fernando Castro noticed that the bill will require chain restaurants to publish calorie content on the menus. It'll be tough to reduce health care costs, after all, if the obesity epidemic continues apace.

Section 2572 requires that restaurants with more than 20 locations "shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in a nutrient content disclosure statement adjacent to the name of the standard menu item, so as to be clearly associated with the standard menu item, on the menu listing the item for sale, the number of calories contained in the standard menu item, as usually prepared and offered for sale."

Reader Zen Tiger noted that while the government freely bails out Wall Street when it runs into trouble, no such help would be forthcoming for the public health insurance option.

"In no case shall the public health insurance option receive any Federal funds for purposes of insolvency in any manner similar to the manner in which entities receive Federal funding under the Troubled Assets Relief Program of the Secretary of the Treasury," reads the bill.

A high number of readers wrote in surprised that the public option was as limited as it is in the bill. That surprise is partly the fault of reporters - including myself - who haven't been clear that only certain people would be eligible for it. If you have employer coverage, for instance, you're not eligible. However, this FDL post from Jon Walker explains how the number of people eligible for it is liable to expand over time.

Thanks to the many people who read parts of the nearly 2,000 page health care bill last week. If you give this one a look and find anything interesting, let me know at ryan@huffingtonpost.com. If you don't want your name published, please say so. We'll post the bill as soon as it's out.

UPDATE: It's out. The manager's amendment is a scant 42 pages long and amends the bill as introduced.