WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says health insurance companies may not like what lawmakers have in store as
they work on a final health care bill.
The Democrat says the case is growing stronger to include a public health insurance option, saying recent industry attacks against the legislation should dispel any doubts. She was referring to an industry-funded report suggesting premiums will rise under the Senate's bill and an ad campaign targeting seniors.
She also says the House is now considering adding a $6.7 billion-a-year fee on insurance companies.
An industry group responded that "the American people want policy makers to pursue reforms that are in the best interest of the country, not as retaliation for speaking out about rising health care costs."
While Pelosi says she wants the House to have the strongest public plan version possible, it remains unclear whether the Senate will include the provision.
Negotiations continue in the House and Senate with the aim of beginning floor debate in each chamber within weeks, though likely
not this month.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)