Fines proposed for going without health insurance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fines proposed for going without health insurance

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WASHINGTON (KWWL) - A Senate Democrat is trying to build support for a plan that would guarantee health coverage for nearly all Americans. The cost to taxpayers would be less than $900 billion over 10 years.

It would require all Americans to get health insurance. Those who don't would have to pay penalties ranging from $750 a year for low-income individuals to $3,800 a year for families making more than three times the federal poverty level.

The plan was put forward by Max Baucus of Montana, a moderate who heads the Senate Finance Committee.

As President Barack Obama prepares for tomorrow night's high-stakes speech to Congress on health care reform, a provision that is considered by liberals to be a must-have is losing support.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that a government health insurance option for middle-class Americans isn't an essential part of legislation for him.

Earlier, a key moderate House Democrat -- Mike Ross of Arkansas -- abandoned his support of the public option. He had supported it before, but says he changed his mind after hearing from constituents during the August recess.

Online News Director Nate Leding

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