DITCH 'EM

Reid: Stop Chasing GOP Votes

Enough is enough, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. On Tuesday the Nevada Democrat ordered Finance Chairman Max Baucus to stop chasing down Republican votes for a health care-reform bill, and to also stop proposing taxes on health benefits. Baucus’s plans, Reid said (according to Democratic sources who spoke with The Washington Post), would cost the bill 10 to 15 Democratic votes and would, at best, win only a few Republican votes. Baucus wants to implement bipartisan-supported health care reform with a price tag less than $1 trillion that is deficit-neutral; the U.S. Senate Committe on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions is slated to complete its health-care-reform-legislation blueprint this week or next. The panel’s Democrats support the HELP bill unanimously, while no Republicans are willing to back it.