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National Briefing / Washington, D.c.

Senate health bill pushes forward

October 02, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee worked to smooth the effect of sweeping healthcare legislation on working-class families as they pushed toward an expected vote next week.

Republicans attacked the bill as riddled with tax increases that violated President Obama's campaign promises, but failed to remove any of them.

Committee agreement on the bill is all but certain; Democrats hold a 13-10 majority.

The full Senate is to begin debating the measure at mid-month.

The panel approved a provision that would allow states to negotiate with insurers to arrange coverage for people with incomes slightly higher than the cutoff for Medicaid.

It approved a second amendment to exempt millions from a requirement to buy insurance and reduce penalties on those who don't.

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