Health Reform Deal?

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Health Reform Deal?

Jul 30, 2009
Posted by Molly Nelson - Some progress may have been made on the Obama Administration's goal of health care reform this week with negotiations between Democratic leaders and critics of the legislation in both the House and the Senate. 

In the House, Democratic leaders reached a compromise with the fiscally conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, allowing stalled discussions to resume on the Energy and Commerce Committee.  The agreement would decrease the costs of the legislation and include a provision that would exempt many small businesses from an employer mandate.

Meanwhile in the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mo.) announced that legislation Republicans also helped draft could trim costs to under $900 billion over 10 years and legislators from both parties had agreed on ways to cover the cost.  Sen. Baucus said a new Congressional Budget Office estimate of the bill found the cost of the legislation would not add to the national debt, and that by 2019 the legislation would actually reduce the deficit. 

Approval of the House bill by the Energy and Commerce Committee is the last step before the bill can be put to a vote before the full House.  Although President Barack Obama had asked both chambers to pass a version of the legislation before the August recess, officials in both the House and Senate are saying votes will not occur until September. 
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