July 9th, 2009 – Montana Senator Max Baucaus said that his Health Reform proposal is coming up $320 billion short in funding for the next 10 years. He went on to say that nothing was off the table, including the taxation of employee benefits. He claims the other funding will come in savings from Medicare, Medicaid and other programs.
How they will accomplish that remains to be seen, as most pundits predict that without radical changes that Medicare’s finances will collapse within the next 10 years.
Also under consideration are raising taxes on sugary drinks and alcohol to a surtax on the wealthy.
Also, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with key Senate Republicans to help smooth negotiations on the Health Reform bill.
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine told the a reporter that negotiators need more time to write the bill and shouldn’t be forced to meet a goal set by Democratic leaders to have the bill off the Senate floor by August 7.
Reid told the lawmakers he would be “flexible” on the time frame, but that he still wants to try to have the bill done by that date, a Reid aide said.