New Bipartisan Group to Tackle Health-Care Reform
By Shailagh Murray
Seven senators have formed a bipartisan group to find consensus on health-care reform legislation, a sign of fresh momentum after a week of setbacks.
The group, dubbed by its members as the "Coalition of the Willing," includes Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the ranking Republican on the panel, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa). Others who attended the first meeting this afternoon in the Capitol included Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), and GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), the ranking minority member of the Senate health committee.
The finance panel aims to produce a bill with a total price tag of under $1 trillion over 10 years. Baucus said the legislation could be unveiled next week, although the committee is not expected to begin formal debate until after the July 4 recess. Baucus had aimed to start deliberations on Tuesday. But he announced yesterday that lawmakers needed additional time to digest a complex menu of provisions.
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June 18, 2009; 6:17 PM ET
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