The Hill‘s Jeffrey Young reports that Montana democrat and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus declared over breakfast that there was a 75 percent to 80 percent chance he would win support from both parties to pass a health reform bill in his committee next month.
Baucus feels that politicians on both sides are committed to finding a reform solution, Young reported, and that, while he said there was no draft bill yet and that everything was on the table, specific progress was being made toward a bill acceptable to all parties involved. Baucus said that while universal coverage might not be possible, the committee would work to cover as many folks as possible, perhaps 94 percent to 96 percent of the population.
Politico‘s Carrie Budoff Brown profiled four lesser-known movers and shakers in the coming brawl over health care reform (as well as a fifth party, the anecdotes of regular Americans being amassed as weapons on both sides), saying that the massive effort may be decided by these smaller names rather than the well-known heavyweights. One of the heaviest of those weights, Sen. Chuck Grassley, also weighs in, letting folks know just how bipartisan health reform might be possible.
The four folks Brown profiled:
- Congressional Budget Office director Doug Elmendorf, whose financial estimates could make or break the plan
- Unorthodox labor organizer Dennis Rivera, who’s organizing a nuts-and-bolts campaign for reform
- Health reform veteran and Baucus aide Liz Folwer, who will handle much behind-the-scenes wrangling
- Stimulus fraud cop Earl Devaney, who could create an AIG-like circus should he discover anything shady