Senate Gang of Six to Meet Via Videoconference Thursday
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Wednesday reaffirmed his commitment to the ongoing bipartisan health care talks in his committee and announced that the gang of six Finance panel negotiators would meet at 9 p.m. Thursday via videoconference.“Bipartisan progress continues. The Finance Committee is on track to reach a bipartisan agreement on comprehensive health care reform that can pass the Senate,— Baucus said in a prepared statement.“Our group will be meeting tomorrow and our staffs continue to meet as well. I am confident we will continue our steady progress toward health care reform that will lower costs and provide quality, affordable coverage to all Americans,— the statement continued.Baucus’ statement was released Wednesday amid news reports that the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress are considering a partisan approach to moving a health care reform bill through the House and Senate. However, the White House said Wednesday that President Barack Obama remains committed to working with Republicans to enact health care reform.The six Finance negotiators include Baucus, ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Democratic Sens. Jeff Bingaman (N.M.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.), and GOP Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Olympia Snowe (Maine).At a series of town-hall meetings last week in central Iowa, Grassley downplayed his participation in the negotiations, raising doubts about his willingness to sign on to a compromise.