Health Care REFORM UPDATE--with the goal of providing "one-stop shopping" for the latest health care reform news, opinions, and analysis--is off and running!
And so is the major Democratic legislative process in the US Senate.
Finance Committee chair Max Baucus and Health, Education, and Labor Committee chair Ted Kennedy this week sent a joint letter to President Obama promising to move reform legislation out of their respective committtees by early June. The letter noted the two key senators' intent to craft similar legislative language that could be merged into a single bill for debate by the full Senate.
A day after sending the letter to the President, Baucus chaired the first of three "roundtable discussions" on health care reform issues, declaring "What we hammer out at these roundtables is going to be the cornerstone of the legislation that we pass in coming months.” This first session focused on cost and quality issues and was attended by Finance Committee members and by thirteen health care industry representatives.
A parallel effort, again with the intent of producing compatible language to be combined into a single bill, is underway in the House, involving three committees (Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor).