Scaling Back

Lawmakers Take Axe to Health Care

Finding health insurance for all Americans may be popular in the polls, but it doesn't come cheap. Now Democrats are struggling to find ways to scale back ambitious plans for reform in order cut back on costs. In a closed door meeting of the Senate Finance Committee this week, members debated ideas to trim the bill after the Congressional Budget Office scored a draft at $1.6 trillion over 10 years, significantly more than the $1 trillion-over-10-years estimate cited by President Obama last week. One suggestion is to put in place an "automatic mechanism" that would require major spending reductions in Medicare if it failed to meet its goals regarding costs. “We are getting closer and closer and closer,” the committee's chairman, Senator Max Baucus, told The New York Times. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we will have a bipartisan bill.”