- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

The Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform plan is expected to come in at $880 billion over 10 years, but lawmakers are still working to produce a final bill.

Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, said he is likely to issue his plan Tuesday or Wednesday, and the committee would debate the bill next week.

It’s still unclear whether the full “Gang of Six” would sign on. The group of three Republicans and three Democrats has been debating the compromise proposal for months and has emerged as the biggest hurdle to progress on the bill in Congress.

“We’re working to bring this process to closure over the next two weeks or so,” Mr. Baucus said, adding that there’s a “high probability” of a bipartisan deal by Tuesday.

The remaining sticking points include the size of the expansion of Medicaid services for lower-income Americas,, medical malpractice reform, preventing illegals from obtaining government insurance subsidies and preventing the federal government from funding abortions.

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