Baucus Will Issue Draft Next Week, With or Without GOP

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 11:44 AM CDT
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., talks with reporters after a meeting on health care reform on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Max Baucus plans to bring his long-awaited health care legislation before his committee the week of Sept. 21, with or without Republican support, reports the Wall Street Journal. Baucus told fellow Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee that he will release a draft of the bill next week, then move it to the panel. He meets with the committee's so-called Group of Six negotiators later today, after giving them a deadline of this morning to submit last-minute changes.

“He is making clear in the meeting that it is time for action and time to move forward to get a bill done by the end of the year,” an insider tells Politico. The move will allow President Obama to report progress on all the legislation working through Congress when he addresses the nation tonight. The Baucus plan has long been seen as the best chance to forge a bipartisan bill. The legislation is expected to propose nonprofit co-ops, not a public option, to compete with private insurers, notes the Journal.