Handicapping the Baucus plan
With no commitments of Republican support, Chairman Baucus can only afford to lose two Democratic votes and still get a bill out of committee. Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) has already committed publicly to opposing the bill in its current form, and Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) has indicated that he might not support the bill due to concerns over the treatment of immigrants. With most other Democrats on the Finance Committee expressing some degree of concern, the Chairman will have to make significant changes in the coming week. The challenge will be to come up with modifications that will satisfy both liberal and conservative members.
By now, the key issues that the committee will have to resolve are familiar—they are most of the same ones that bedeviled the inconclusive bipartisan negotiations that preceded the release of the Baucus plan.
We recap the most significant ones and assess their prospects in this week’s Health Reform Insider.
—Michael Miller, Director of Strategic Policy