Senate to hold off on healthcare bill mark-up until after summer recess

Share this content:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) has made it clear that his committee would not finish deliberation on its healthcare reform proposal before the summer recess begins this Friday.

Baucus has been trying to forge consensus among conservative and liberal senators in an attempt to reach a bipartisan agreement before the summer recess, but infighting has slowed down the process. While members of the committee have been taking their time on the measure, they say it's for the best. Speaking to reporters late last week, ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA) said they "have not been committed to deadlines. We've been committed to getting the job done." Among the measures to be decided is a long-term care disability insurance plan. Better known as the CLASS Act, it would allow employees to pay into an fund that would provide a daily allowance during a disability.

Meanwhile, progressive members of the House of Representatives appear to have found a way to compromise with the conservative Blue Dog Democrats they claim have been holding up progress in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The two factions spent Thursday night and early Friday morning striking a deal. Their tentative agreement would allow progressive members to trim some government funded healthcare programs to restore insurance subsidies for middle-income families. A committee vote was expected Friday afternoon, but no movement had been made as of press time. The House is scheduled to adjourn for its August recess today.