Policy

Key senators discuss trimming the health care bill — MedCity Morning Read, Aug. 21, 2009

Senate health care negotiators said late Thursday that they would ignore the increasingly strident rhetoric from both Republican and Democratic corners as they craft legislation to satisfy both sides — and cost less than legislation already proposed.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senate health care negotiators said late Thursday that they would ignore the increasingly strident rhetoric from both Republican and Democratic corners as they craft legislation to satisfy both sides — and cost less than legislation already proposed – according to sources familiar with the discussions, the Washington Post said.

In a conference call, the three Republican and three Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee agreed to redouble their efforts to find a bipartisan and less costly solution to overhauling the nation’s health care system than the $1 trillion legislation proposed mostly by House committees, the Post said. Congress members are on their summer break until after Labor Day.

In a written statement following the teleconference, finance committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said his group  had a productive discussion and remained committed to creating bipartisan legislation.

For a week, prospects for reform that would answer both Democratic and Republican concerns focused on Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican who is his party’s senior leadership on the committee. Grassley had refused to debunk so-called myths about legislative moves that could lead to euthanasia for the old and sick.

Rep. John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, was among congressional members said that no one from their party would vote for many of the reform measures that President Obama wants.

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