Monday, December 28, 2009

Politico: The Healthcare Bill Timeline

It’s the Monday after Christmas. If you’re just plugging back in after a few glorious days off the grid, not to worry. Pulse: Post-Holiday Edition has what you need to know. “I just wanna use the Pulse tonight.”

WORK STARTS THIS WEEK -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said key staff and members will begin the conference committee talks by phone this week. A Senate Democratic leadership aide said the staff work on the Senate side will begin in earnest next week with key senators returning the week of Jan. 11. On the House side, leadership and committee aides are expected to start meeting this week and the relevant chairmen are expected to be back in Washington the first week in January. Rank-and-file members will return the week after. After the Christmas Eve vote, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson talked of the challenges of the coming conference committee. "Splitting the difference here could well break the 60 vote consensus," Lieberman told reporters. House progressives are pushing to make insurance more affordable – probably by increasing subsidies for coverage. But Nelson reiterated his position Thursday that he doesn't want to see the bill’s price tag go much above the Senate’s number of $871 billion. "Obviously you can always make things more affordable. More affordable for individuals, less affordable for our government and taxpayers," Nelson said. And on Sunday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told ABC News that the Senate abortion language comes closer to what the president wants than the House version.