The New Bar on Health Care: “Every Democrat and Perhaps Olympia Snowe”

Sep 17, 2009 7:27pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: Things have changed at Max Baucus' office. Last week he had bipartisan talks looking for middle ground. Today, it was only Finance Committee Democrats huddled in his office late into the evening. And Sen. Chuck Schumer put it bluntly when he said what they are optimistic that they can work real hard together and come up with a consensus bill that gets the vote of "every Democrat and perhaps Olympia Snowe." And there was good news for a Democratic consensus. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who has been a chief liberal critic of Sen. Max Baucus' health reform plan. And while he said on-cam tonight after a meeting of Democrats on the Finance Committee that his criticism of the bill remain, Rockefeller sounded buoyed and like a team player. "There was a feeling in there that we're in this together," he said. There are still real differences. (Rockefeller again attacked the co-ops envisioned by Baucus and other centrists as a substitute for the public plan — "Can they work?" Rockefeller said of co-ops. "The answer is no they can't.") But Rockefeller sounded committed to working in the amendment process when the bill reaches the Finance committee next week.

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