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EXCLUSIVE: The Finance Committee's Health Care Timeline


I was given an internal Finance Committee memo today that offers the clearest look yet on the Congress's timetable for health-care reform. Staffers in various Senate offices affirmed that the dates sync with the schedule they've been given. The document, as you might expect, has the most information on the Finance Committee's efforts, but it outlines the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee's schedule, the legislation being built in the House, and Congress's overall goal: A bill on the president's desk by Oct. 1.

The Finance Committee: According to the memo, Finance will meet next week to discuss the issues where it sees an emergent consensus. These include delivery system and insurance market reforms -- "80-90% of the bill," the memo says. The author also outlines the "3 major sticking points": Public plan, employer pay or play, and financing.

Finance hopes to "drop a mark" -- a draft bill, essentially -- on June 17. The mark up -- where the committee members argue over and edit the draft -- will take place the week of June 22nd. A summary of the bill, along with preliminary scoring data from the Congressional Budget Office, will be available during that period. The "goal for Finance remains a bipartisan product," the memo assures.

Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: "Finance [is] working closely w/HELP on areas of cross jurisdiction ([Chris] Dodd and Baucus speaking regularly)," the memo says. HELP is looking to begin its markup process June 16. The Hill's Jeffrey Young has gotten his hands on Title I of HELP's bill, which you can download here.

The goal for both committees is to have health-care reform on the Senate floor by the last two weeks of July.

The House: The House of Representatives appears to be on a slightly slower schedule. A draft bill is expected in "mid-late June," markup is scheduled for the first two weeks in July, and the bill moves to the floor in the last week of July.

The overarching goal is to get health care reform to the president's desk by Oct. 1 - though one Finance Committee staffer confirmed the other dates but said the goal is Oct. 15. It's an ambitious schedule, especially when you consider that in 1993, Congress didn't get a draft bill until Nov. 20 -- the last day of the congressional session.

The full memo follows the jump.


* Finance Members met bipartisanly yesterday (June 4)

* There will be another bipartisan Members mtg next week to delve deeper the details of where consensus exists around delivery system reforms, insurance mkt reforms, etc (80-90% of bill)

* Hope to drop a mark in or around June 17th

* Hope to markup week of June 22nd (not sure yet if markup will take 2-5 days)

* Markup document will include the description of a proposal (more detail than what was in their options papers and preliminary CBO scores will be available for markup but not necessarily by the 17th)

* Goal for Senate is to have HCR on floor last two weeks of July and on President's desk by Oct. 1

* Finance working closely w/HELP on areas of cross jurisdiction (Dodd and Baucus speaking regularly)

* Goal for Finance remains a bipartisan product

* Consensus forming around 80-90% of bill (delivery system reforms, insurance mkt reforms, etc).

* 3 major sticking points include: public plan, employer pay or play and financing

* HELP just released draft of 1/3 of their bill on coverage. Remaining sections on quality and wellness/prevention to follow soon. HELP hoping to markup beginning June 16.

* House looking to release draft bill mid-late June, markup first 2 weeks in July and move to floor the last week in July.

By Ezra Klein  |  June 5, 2009; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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"I was given an internal Finance Committee memo today"

I guess working for the MSM has some advantages after all, huh?

Posted by: FearItself | June 6, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, nice job but the problem in moving from the poscription of young punkdom to reporting on the grown up world of sausage making is that we don't know for sure if Obama will decied to spend his policital capital on the "3 major sticking points": Public plan, employer pay or play, and financing." or just agree to a minor compromise in order to get any bill. I know my guess. What's yours?

Posted by: matthewholt | June 6, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm bothered how the word "socialized" medicine and other non-accurate propaganda language this is being used to raise a flag. I'm deeply concerned over how imbedded lobbyists are in DC. 135 million was paid out by Pharma and Insurance in Congress and "everyone" took it. The only people sitting at the Finance Committee table are Pharma and Insurance, it’s obvious who is controlling the future of our health care? Our government is ruled on he who has the most money wins.

When is this country going to start taking a serious look at "Campaign Finance Reform"? We look and act more like a nation under siege. Democracy, the new dictatorship. Corporations are now in power, not the people. They make the decisions, they develop and decide. As far as I'm concerned, at this time, what’s happening is that DC is just creating another bubble and anyone who thinks this one won’t burst isn’t really thinking. How will this new plan for health care take hold every time we have a recession and masses of people lose their job? Won’t the new goal to save will be to keep people out of work, or will be more tax write offs for the wealthiest? Employers will still dictate and control people by using Health Care, only the well behaved who think and act like them will be able to keep their job. The young and healthy will have jobs with good health care plans, the rest will be cleaned out as their birthday arrives.

Posted by: nancykulka | June 9, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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