Gang Of Six Focus On Thorny Issues Involved In Health Reform
After a Friday morning meeting, the Senate Finance Committee "Gang of Six" postponed "extensive discussion of the illegal immigration issue until Monday and said aides would be working on language on that and abortion over the weekend," the Associated Press reports.
"The prognosis for bipartisan resolution remained cloudy" after Friday's meeting, which focused an expansion of Medicaid's effect on states, and on possible provisions to keep down medical malpractice costs. According to the AP, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is "prepared to go it alone even without [Sen. Olympia] Snowe, and Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming. Snowe said she still couldn't predict whether they'd reach consensus - or whether Baucus would be able to count on her vote. 'I can't answer that at this point. We're working through all these issues and we'll see where it goes from there when we finalize everything,' Snowe said" (Werner, 9/11).
Politico reports that Baucus said the Finance Committee could release its legislation as early as Tuesday. "We are starting to reach closure," he said.
On the subject of illegal immigrants receiving healthcare, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said, "We think we've got a very strong policy to ensure that people who are here illegally do not benefit from any of these initiatives" (Brown, 9/11).
Conrad, who noted that there is a "high degree of confidence that we will have an outline" of legislation, said committee members plan to speak with state governors Sept. 14 on how to contain the cost of a Medicaid expansion, Bloomberg reports (Donmoyer, 9/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.