Just after 2:00 this morning, the Senate Finance Committee completed its grueling review of nearly 600 amendments to its health reform legislation. Its leaders hope to vote on the complete bill next week. The committee plans to vote on the full bill during the week of Oct. 12.
During its deliberations this week, the committee rejected two separate proposals to include a public health plan option. It also exempted 2 million more people from the individual mandate based on economic hardship, and reduced penalties for failing to comply with the mandate.
Thanks to the work of Sen. John Kerry and his staff, the committee also favorably modified a proposal that would have penalized patients and physicians in high-cost Medicare states like Massachusetts.