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Gang of Six Has a 'Productive' Chat

The "Gang of Six" held a teleconference today. Lori Montgomery reports:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) made clear that he is committed to moving forward with health reform legislation "in the near future" with or without an agreement among the six negotiators, according to a source close to the discussions. The six include two Democrats other than Baucus and three Republicans -- two of whom the White House has accused of prolonging the process with no intention of cutting a deal.

Baucus also said it was a very "productive" conversation. They'll convene in person next Tuesday.

By Ezra Klein  |  September 4, 2009; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

I'll take Sen. Baucus at his word when he says "We agree all Americans should be able to choose -- and be able to afford -- a quality health care plan. And, we agree health care reform should be fiscally responsible and not add to the deficit."

Sen. Hatch may not have been far off the mark when he said that some good ideas might come from places like Montana and Utah. Maine, Vermont, and Virginia also have some perspectives that might be particularly helpful.

Posted by: rmgregory | September 4, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The gang of six is obsolete.

Posted by: slantedview | September 4, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Now maybe we can get some work done with the Gang of 60.

Posted by: bluegrass1 | September 4, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Ezra:

Your theme today appears to be "damn the deficits, full speed ahead". Yes, Republicans have embraced deficit spending in the past, and yes, you could avoid deficit spending and still have a workable health care plan by raising taxes (or limiting deductions).

But at some point the fiscal insanity has to stop. I am fine with raising taxes at this point....to pay off the deficit. My concern is that, if we use up all of the tax raising "powder" on health care reform, then what are we going to use to knock down the existing deficit?

The economy can survive some tax increases, shaky as it is. But the tax-increase well is not bottomless.

Posted by: WEW72 | September 4, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I can't support health care reform that requires me to buy corporate insurance. It will force me to make lifestyle sacrifices for a purpose to which I'm morally opposed. Religious conscientious objectors can opt out. It seems like a constitutional legal challenge seeking similar status is the only remaining option.

Posted by: bmull | September 4, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

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