Baucus: Complete Committee Action On Health Bill ‘By Nightfall’
The Associated Press reports that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said today as he began the panel's seventh day of mark-up that he "wanted to complete work on a sweeping health care bill by nightfall, opening the way for Democratic leaders to bring the historic legislation to the floors of both the House and Senate as early as mid-October." Once the Finance Committee finishes its deliberations on the measure, "Senate leaders can work to finalize a package to bring to the Senate floor."
Meanwhile, House Democratic aides said "the House was working on roughly the same timetable, although ... neither House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nor Reid would provide a detailed schedule." Once the bill reaches the Senate floor, debate could take weeks. In the House, it will more likely take only days. "But even now, two weeks before the projected start of debate, key decisions are yet to be made about elements of the bills" (Espo, 10/1).
MSNBC First Read: Although the Finance panel could finish voting on amendments this evening, the final committee vote will take place some time next week. "The reason why ... is because Baucus promised the members they would get to review the bill's preliminary cost estimate -- or 'the score' -- from the Congressional Budget Office before the final vote. (Put another way, Republicans have demanded to see the numbers before they vote.) Amendments that have been agreed to will likely change the bill's cost" (Strickland, 10/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.