Public Option Debate Postponed Until Tuesday
WASHINGTON (CN) - The Senate Finance Committee ended hearings Friday on health care reform without taking on what's expected to be a charged debate over the addition of the public option. The committee is expected to take up that issue when it meets again Tuesday. The committee spent much of Friday poring over the precise financial effect of the $856 billion health-care bill proposed Monday by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana.
"People have to have the awareness that we have been meticulous," Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said. "It's paramount we do it right."
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, blamed Republicans for contesting the bill without offering an alternative.
"That is going to weigh heavily with the American people," he said.
The Senate Finance Committee is the last stop before a conference committee is held, where the differences between House and Senate legislation will be addressed. It will then be voted on by the House and Senate.