Harry Reid: Senate Finance Health Bill Vote Tuesday
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that the Senate Finance Committee will vote on its proposed health reform bill Tuesday. A release from the Finance Committee says the committee will meet at 10 a.m. that day.
The Washington Post reports that Reid made his remarks on the Senate floor while he also "blasted Republicans for opposing the Finance Committee's measure, accusing GOP leaders of aiming to be 'partisan protesters' rather than 'productive partners.'" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Democrats don't have the 60 votes to pass the bill out of the Senate, The Post reports (Montgomery and Murray, 10/8).
The Associated Press: McConnell "dismissed the good news on costs and coverage as 'irrelevant,' saying Democrats would pump up the Baucus bill as it proceeds through Congress. 'The bill ... will never see the light of day,' McConnell promised." McConnell said Republican ideas have been ignored by Democrats on reshaping the nation's health care reform system (Alonso-Zaldivar, 10/8).
The Wall Street Journal: "It is still unclear if Mr. Baucus can count on the vote of the lone Republican who has indicated that she could support the bill -- Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. Two Democrats, Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon, also haven't said publicly if they will support the measure" (Yoest, 10/8).
In the meantime, in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that she'll send several versions of the House health care reform bill to the Congressional Budget Office, including one with a government-run public option, Reuters reports (Ferraro, 10/8).
House Democrats are now considering a windfall profits tax on health insurers to pay for the overhaul, The Hill reports. "The idea was brought up in a leadership meeting on Wednesday night and brought before the entire caucus on Thursday morning, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Connolly said no specific structure or tax rates were discussed, nor was it estimated how much revenue could be brought in through a tax on the profits of the largest health insurance companies, but Connolly said the idea had wide support" (Allen, 10/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.