AirTalk for July 15, 2009

House health plan boosts taxes on rich

House Democrats have unveiled sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system. The proposal would require health insurance companies to sell policies to individuals regardless of any pre-existing conditions. The plan would also require employers to provide health insurance and it would require individuals to purchase it. A new, government-run health insurance program would be created to compete with private coverage. Financing would come from a federal surtax of up to 5.4 percent on taxpayers making more than $1 million a year. Not all House members support the plan, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence that the bill would be passed before the August recess. Larry Mantle and guests look at the proposals and what services they would provide.

House health plan boosts taxes on rich, continued

House Democrats have unveiled sweeping legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system. The proposal would require health insurance companies to sell policies to individuals regardless of any pre-existing conditions. The plan would also require employers to provide health insurance and it would require individuals to purchase it. A new, government-run health insurance program would be created to compete with private coverage. Financing would come from a federal surtax of up to 5.4 percent on taxpayers making more than $1 million a year. Not all House members support the plan, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence that the bill would be passed before the August recess. Larry Mantle discusses the House's health care plan further with guests and listeners.

Episcopal Church approves of gay bishops

The Episcopal Church has approved ordaining gay bishops. In convention in Anaheim on Tuesday, lay people and clergy overwhelmingly voted in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to hold "any ordained ministry." Many Episcopalians worry that the decision will provoke a schism in the church – four dioceses have cut ties with the Episcopal Church to form the Anglican Church in North America in anticipation of Tuesday's vote. How will the Episcopal Church and local parishes be affected? Larry finds out more.

Running your car on green slime?

Exxon announced that it will spend $600 million on technology to derive renewable fuels from green algae, a biotechnology that could potentially transform the petroleum industry. They've tapped geneticist Craig Venter and his company Synthetic Genomics. But will it really be economical? And are there new potential environmental hazards from this kind of fuel source? Larry Mantle finds out more about the announcement. Add your thoughts here.
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