Senate leaders could see health reform slip into next year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid waived any lingering deadlines that may have existed for a health reform package, pledging that he would not “be bound by any timelines” and potentially clearing the way for a 2010 end date for the bill.
Talking to reporters off of the Senate floor, Reid said would make the bill public and allow enough time for everyone—from lawmakers to laymen—to study it. “So we're going to do this legislation as expeditiously as we can, but we're going to do it as fairly as we can, also,” he said.
Lawmakers in the Senate continue to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to release its cost assessment of a legislative package shaped by committee chairmen and submitted by Reid last week. Any legislative step forward first requires the CBO to weigh in. The back and forth between lawmakers and the CBO is typical for any bill, but even more so considering the complexity of the healthcare overhaul package.