- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 14, 2010

House Democrats said Thursday they are closing in on compromises on a final health-care-reform bill and hope to send specifics to Congress’ budget scorekeeper by Saturday.

Differences between the House and Senate reform bills have threatened to hold up final passage of President Obama’s chief legislative priority. The two chambers have different policies on whether to establish a national or multiple-state insurance exchanges, abortion and how to pay for the bill, among other issues.

“We’re getting closer to agreement between the two houses so we can move forward,” said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

House Democrats say they want to have the outlines of a compromise sent to the Congressional Budget Office by Friday or Saturday. The CBO then would complete a cost-and-impact analysis of the plan.

“That’s the goal,” said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat.

Democratic leaders from the House and the Senate went to the White House on Wednesday for negotiating sessions that lasted almost all day.

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