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Senate Scraps Public Option & Medicare Expansion

December 16th, 2009 – After a frenzy of political deal making, Democratic leaders in the US Senate agreed to scrap both the controversial public plan option and a new amendment that would have opened up Medicare to people aged 55-64.

It now appears that the Democrats will have enough support to win the 60 votes needed to approve their Health Reform bill.  While the revised bill’s estimated cost still needs to be determined by the Congressional Budget Office, that is expected to be completed sometime this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to line up a commitment of 60 lawmakers by Thursday, so that a final vote could happen before Christmas.

That would then set the stage for reconciliation with the House version of the bill in January.  It is expected that the core of the Senate bill will be in the final reconciled bill, if the Congress and Senate hope to pass the reconciled bill through both houses.

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