Some Progress On Health Bill, Senators Prepare For Long December
"Senate Republicans and Democrats are digging in for a long December, vowing they have no objection to the possibility of a working Christmas to debate healthcare reform," The Hill reports. "From GOP rank-and-file to Democratic leaders, senators say they regret but recognize the need to put public duty ahead of their families and follow a schedule tentatively laid out by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid has said he may call the chamber back into session in between the Christmas and New Year's holidays" (Rushing, 12/6).
Los Angeles Times: On sticking-point issues such as the public option and abortion, "behind-the-scenes Democratic negotiations to satisfy both liberals and moderates quickened Sunday. 'Issues are being narrowed as we speak,' said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)" yesterday afternoon. "The unusual weekend session was in pursuit of Reid's long-shot goal to bring the bill to a final vote before Christmas. That would set the stage for crafting a final House-Senate compromise after the first of the year" (Hook, 12/7).
Kaiser Health News reports that Reid must still deal with Senator compromises and sentiment on the public option, abortion, affordability and costs before he can move the bill forward. "Meanwhile, as Senate floor action enters its second week, the chamber is likely to debate amendments, for example, one on whether to permit the importation of drugs from other countries, where they often sell for less than in the United States. And Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is expected to propose an amendment that would require all money from the Medicare payment changes in the bill be directed back to the Medicare program instead of being used to help fund the legislation" (Carey, 12/7).
CQ Politics, runs down the health care discussions on Sunday's morning talk shows (Brotherton, 12/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.