Thursday Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said he wanted to complete work on a sweeping health care bill by nightfall. That would open the way for Democratic leaders to bring the historic legislation to the floors of both the House and Senate as early as mid-October.
"I have high hopes of finishing today," Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said as he gaveled open the committee's seventh day of work on legislation embracing President Barack Obama's call for greater protections for those who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.
Baucus said his plans "might mean we go late tonight ... quite late." The committee has been meeting well into the evening most nights this week and last.
Finance is the only one of five committees in Congress that has yet to complete work on a health overhaul bill. Once it finishes, Senate leaders can work to finalize a package to bring to the Senate floor, The Associated Press reports.
In the meantime, it was reported, that Max Baucus' refused to post the Democrats' health care bill online, saying that it will be "too difficult." Meanwhile, a new poll shows that Chairman Baucus' decision won't go over too well with the American people.
Rasmussen Reports shows that a whopping 83 percent of Americans think that legislation should be posted online before it is voted on by Congress. Among those, 64 percent think Americans should have two weeks or more to look at the legislation before it becomes law, FOXNews reports.
News agencies also report, health care legislation continued to advance in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, fending off "poison pill" amendments on abortion and coverage for illegal immigrants, but it did so without one of its critical elements: a government-run alternative to private insurance.
The so-called public option is vital to making sure the various mandates to provide coverage to more Americans will result in a more efficient and effective health care system. The presence of a public option would pressure insurance companies and medical providers to keep their costs down and quality of care up.
But those arguments did not prevail in the Senate Finance Committee, where Republicans steadfastly opposed the creation of a public plan. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, called it a "Trojan horse for a single-payer system." The Democratic chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, took a pragmatic opposition, saying the appeal of including the public option was outweighed by the reality that it could not muster the 60 votes that would be required to break an expected filibuster, San Francisco Chronicle reports.
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