Kaiser Health News asks: "If health care reform has to
be put on a diet to pass this year, how much must the proposal slim down?"
And officials are already considering the possible cuts.
"The Senate Finance Committee negotiators are focusing on a health care package in the range of $700 billion over 10 years ... well down from the $900 billion that committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont, announced in late July.
A senior Democratic Senate aide, however, said that putting any figure on the size of the current Finance Committee bill 'would be an exercise in false precision' ... [and] Policy experts say that Democrats may have to accept a bill that is a far cry from the ambitious and costly health care overhaul blueprints on the drawing boards in the House and Senate that would extend coverage to many uninsured Americans, eliminate discriminatory practices within the insurance industry and try to rein in health costs in the coming decade (Carey and Pianin, 9/4).