Finance Committee Approves Health Bill

October 13, 2009 ( - The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved its health care overhaul measure by a 14-9 vote.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was the only Republican to join the 13 Democrats on the panel. The Finance panel, led by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana), is the last of five congressional panels to act on a health reform bill, the WSJ noted.

The committee finalized its proposal last week (see Finance Committee Finalizes Health Reform Proposal ). The bill requires Americans to purchase coverage, includes tax credits to help individuals and families purchase insurance, proposes improvements to health care delivery and Medicare, and does not include a government-run insurance option.

The Finance Committee’s bill must now be merged with a more liberal measure approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee (see U.S. Senate HELP Panel First to Report out Health Reform Measure ).

A bill isn’t expected on the House floor until late October, according to the news report.