Baucus Bill Gives Obama a Route to Compromise

White House serene amidst complaints
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2009 9:27 AM CDT
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D- Mont. leaves his health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – It may not look like anyone’s happy with Max Baucus’ health care bill, but it has some very important backers: the health care industries it seeks to reform. Influential players who long ago struck a bargain with the Obama administration “found elements to dislike,” writes Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post, “but not necessarily reasons to kill the effort,” which suggests that the coalition is intact.

That’s given the White House the confidence to push forward into serious horse-trading mode. Obama met yesterday with three lawmakers who said they wouldn’t support the Baucus bill, who came away signaling that they're hopeful of a compromise they can support.  “There will be a lot of horse-trading,” says a White House aide, “and it will not be pretty.”