Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, has told reporters there will be 60 or more senators voting in support of the pending legislation overhauling our health care system. According to the AP, Baucus claims:
“…we are going to pass health care reform legislation this year, and it is why every Democrat will vote for it, and why there will be at least one Republican and maybe a couple more who will vote for it.”
If Baucus is correct, this is a significant development because the Democrats will be able to simply ram the bill through instead of needing to wade through the quagmire of the reconciliation process. We don’t know at this point whether the so-called public option will be enfolded into the Senate bill. Continued objections by moderate Democrats makes it very likely this bill will include compromises should it incorporate a government-financed option. Such concessions could include leaving the decisions about public options to the states or simply installing “triggers” that would allow for the implementation of government-based plans should insurance companies fail to meet pre-determined guidelines for lowering costs.