Thursday, February 18, 2010

House Democrats say merger of health bills is near

House Democrats on Wednesday said they're closing in on a final health care overhaul bill that merges the House and Senate plans but they don't yet know how or when they're going to pass it. They also won't disclose how it deals with flash points that helped stall the effort, such as how to prevent taxpayer funding of abortions, whether to include a public insurance option and how to pay for it. "The House and Senate have come very close to reaching a final agreement, in coordination with the White House," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The White House is expected to release its own health reform proposal ahead of President Obama's bipartisan health reform summit with congressional leaders, planned for Feb. 25. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs revealed scant details of the plan this week but told reporters to "stay tuned." more

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