Politico reports that Senate Finance Committee chair Max Baucus is now promising that his committee’s reform bill will be released on Tuesday September 15.
Since Senator Baucus previously promised, prior to the summer recess, that the “Gang of Six” was already at the point of agreement and would be releasing a bipartisan bill imminently, some caution is indicated about this latest date.
Even more caution is indicated about the level of bipartisan support for the promised bill. On the positive side, the Gang of Six are still meeting and seem to be close to agreement on three sticky issues: malpractice suits, abortion funding (or not), and coverage of both legal and illegal immigrants (or not). On the negative side, at least two of the three Republican members of the Gang of Six (Senators Grassley and Enzi) may have made such intransigent statements during the summer recess that they now cannot support any compromise reform bill without losing political face, while the third Republican member (Senator Snowe) is clearly still undecided.