Obama Steams as Baucus Holds Up Health Bill

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2009 7:16 AM CDT
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus talks with reporters after a closed-door committee meeting on financing an overhaul of the health care system.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The health care reform bill is now in the hands of the Senate Finance Committee and chairman Max Baucus won't be rushed, Politico reports. The Montana Democrat, under pressure from the White House to get a deal done, has been locked in talks to build bipartisan consensus for financing the health care overhaul, while the window in which President Obama can achieve his goal of getting a bill done by August is rapidly closing.

Baucus warns that without genuine bipartisan support for the bill, hard-won concessions from the hospital and pharmaceutical industries that will help finance the overhaul may vanish. "I am very sympathetic with the desire to get this up and out of committee, on the floor as soon as possible, and that is my goal, ” Baucus says. “We’re going to be ready when we’re ready.”