Baucus: Healthcare Reform Extremely Likely Coming
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:11:14 AM EDT
Reuters has the scoop:
Democratic Senator Max Baucus told Reuters in an interview the powerful Senate Finance Committee he chairs would propose draft legislation this week, estimating there was an "85 to 90 percent" chance meaningful healthcare reform would be passed in the Senate with bipartisan support.
It's still unclear what healthcare reform will look like, but one of the very few people on Capitol Hill tasked with making these major changes a reality sounds remarkably bullish on the chances for success. Of course getting a bill through the Senate isn't all that needs to be done. While the Senate remains a high hurdle for any reform effort given the apparent unwillingness of the chamber to pass reform using a budget procedure to forgo the filibuster, thereby requiring 50 votes rather than 60, a bill must get through the House as well and must also be reconciled with any proposed Senate legislation in a conference committee -- a process that can often be as difficult, if not more so, than getting a bill through each House separately. That said, given that one of the key vote counters in the Senate believes that he likely has the votes to make reform a reality, it appears as though the President's ambitious effort to move closer towards universal coverage is not just a dream but a distinct possibility.