Health Care Negotiators Call It Quits for the Night

Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:38pm

Negotiators working on a final Senate health care bill adjourned their meeting Monday evening with a spokesman for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) saying no decisions were made on key issues.Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman, said the principles had a productive meeting and discussed several topics, including health care affordability and a proposed public insurance option. Reid, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are scheduled to reconvene Tuesday evening.“They had a good meeting, and talked about a number of issues,— Manley told reporters. “No decisions were made tonight.—The negotiators did not speak to reporters following the meeting, which lasted about an hour. Asked if progress was made, Emanuel said “yep— as he quickly exited Reid’s office and headed to out of the Capitol.Also Monday evening, Manley said that the Senate on Tuesday could move forward on a motion to proceed on a 10-year, $245 billion proposal to block scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to doctors. Manley said negotiations to ensure there are 60 votes for the measure remain ongoing. Republicans and some Democrats have objected to the bill because it does not include any offsets and would add to the federal deficit. Reid had originally scheduled the vote for Monday, but had to postpone that vote once it became apparent there was not enough support to pass it.