In a letter sent to President Barack Obama, two major architects of an effort to reshape the U.S. healthcare system pledged to deliver legislation by early June.
Our intention is for that legislation to be very similar and to reflect a shared approach to reform, so that the measures that our two committees report can be quickly merged into a single bill, according to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Both lawmakers have publicly stated their timelines to deliver on healthcare legislation before, and both share jurisdiction over the $2.5 trillion-a-year industry. But seldom has their pledge been so public or united.
This week, Baucus committee will begin a series of round-table discussions with healthcare stakeholders, followed by a series of legislative walk-throughs of initiatives that will be considered for a final bill. Kennedys committee has for months been meeting with providers, payers and consumer advocates behind closed doors as a means to shape future legislation.
While few details were releasedor expectedthe two chairmen said that comprehensive reform would contain costs, improve quality, enhance disease prevention and provide coverage to all Americans.