Finance Panel Delays Health Reform Markup For Weeks
Remember just a few weeks ago when Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the upper-chamber leaders on health care reform, announced their intention ‘[to] report similar and complementary legislation that can be quickly merged into one bill for consideration on the Senate floor before the August recess?”
With the arrival earlier this week of the Congressional Budget Office’s grim analysis of Kennedy’s bill, Democratic leaders are scrambling to tweak (overhaul?) their bills to get more folks covered and cut costs.
Indeed, Baucus’ Finance Committee, which had scheduled a markup on its version of the bill today, has postponed even the unveiling of the bill indefinitely. Roll Call (subscription) is reporting that the markup has been pushed until after the Fourth of July recess, which ends July 6.
Meanwhile, Kennedy’s health committee, led for the moment by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), is a few steps ahead, having begun the markup of its reform bill this morning. Still, there seems no end to the process. One analyst reports that more than 460 amendments have been submitted by committee members alone.