Baucus: Finance Negotiators ‘On Track’ Toward Bipartisan Health Bill
MSNBC's First Read reports that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a statement earlier today saying that his panel "is still working on a bipartisan bill." According to MSNBC, Baucus said: "Bipartisan progress continues. The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health care reform that can pass the Senate. Our group will be meeting tomorrow and our staffs continue to meet as well. I am confident we will continue our steady progress toward health care reform that will lower costs and provide quality, affordable coverage to all Americans" (Murray, 8/19).
A separate MSNBC post notes bi-partisan chatter from the panel's lead Republican, too. "Ranking Member Chuck Grassley -- despite his earlier words that he'd vote against any legislation that doesn't attract more GOP support, even if it contains everything he's asking for -- says he wants to 'keep working' to craft a bipartisan bill" (Murray, 8/19).
Grassley's full statement can be found here.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that "Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says his group of three Democrats and three Republicans "is on track" to reach agreement on a deal that can pass a divided Senate. The Montana Democrat said the negotiators -- dubbed the "Gang of Six"-- will hold a teleconference Thursday to continue their talks." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has set a Sept. 15 deadline for Baucus to reach an agreement, "but Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona says Republicans are not likely to go along with the compromise and Congress should start over with a blank sheet of paper" (8/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.