Baucus Dems will support health overhaul

October 16, 2009 5:44:37 AM PDT
Senate Democrats have been trying to piece together a health-care overhaul that will merge a Finance Committee bill with a more liberal version already passed by the Senate Health panel. The goal is to craft a measure that can satisfy liberal Democrats without alienating moderates.

One key question is whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will include some form of a public option that would allow the government to sell insurance in competition with private industry. Liberals spoke up in favor of a public plan at a closed-door Senate Democratic caucus meeting yesterday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a public option will be included in a final House bill, though the design remains unsettled.

Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee chairman is predicting that all Senate Democrats and perhaps more than one Republican will vote in favor of whatever health-care bill emerges from negotiations.

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