The Senate Finance Committee will vote on its sweeping, $829 billion health overhaul package on Oct. 13, the Senate's top Democrat said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), speaking on the Senate floor where he urged Republicans to become “productive partners” rather than vocal opponents, said the committee is set to vote on the package next week. The bill, drafted over much of the year by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), is expected to pass, but not without some drama.
At least two Democrats have been coy about how they expect to vote. Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon have been reluctant to publicly support the legislation—primarily because of differences over how to expand coverage. On the other side of the aisle, many lawmakers will be watching how Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine will vote. At least at the committee level, Snowe is likely the only Republican who would vote in favor of the bill.
The Congressional Budget Office has priced the Baucus package at $829 billion over 10 years, saying that it would expand coverage to 94% of Americans. -- by Matthew DoBiasSee related comments in our Daily Dialogue below.