Aiming to guarantee that almost every American is covered by a health care plan by 2019, the chairmen of the House Committees on Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce unveiled their discussion draft for health care reform.

The centerpiece of the plan, no doubt to the chagrin of health insurers, is the creation of a “public option” plan to compete with private insurance plans.

“The discussion draft is the first step towards creating a distinctly American Solution to our health care crisis,” Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), the Chairman Emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement. “This bill includes a public option, which will provide the American people with a real choice.”

The legislation’s proponents say the public option will lower costs by increasing choice and competition and establish consumer protections. The proposal would also establish a health care exchange where consumers can select from private and public health care options. The draft language also pledges to “keep private insurers honest” and give patients and doctors “control over decisions about their health care, instead of insurance companies.”

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