In remarks scheduled for delivery on the Senate floor, Baucus said he and ranking minority member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) worked out a scheduling agreement that the panel should consider a reform bill in June. The committee’s work would be with the goal of Congress completing action in time for a final bill to be sent to the president before the end of the year.
Baucus said the foundation of health care reform legislation should include controlling costs, improving quality and expanding coverage.
“We need a comprehensive response,” Baucus said in the statement. “Let us, at long last, deliver on the dream of reform that Teddy Roosevelt called for, nearly a century ago. Let us, at long last, lift the burden of health care costs on our economy and on the conscience of our nation. And let us, at long last, enact health care reform this year.”
If such legislation is delayed, millions more people will lose coverage, premiums will rise further and health care spending will consume an even greater share of the nation’s income, Baucus warned.
The Baucus statement is available here .