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Baucus: Senate Health-Care Plan Unlikely to Cover All Americans

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  • Steven Robinson
    Baucus: Senate Health-Care Plan Unlikely to Cover All Americans By Lori Montgomery The Washington Post May 21, 2009 Health care legislation being drafted in
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2009
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      Baucus: Senate Health-Care Plan Unlikely to Cover All Americans
       
      By Lori Montgomery
      The Washington Post
      May 21, 2009
       
      Health care legislation being drafted in the Senate is unlikely to meet the ambitious goal of covering all Americans, and will specifically exclude undocumented workers from receiving benefits, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said today.
       
      "It's too politically explosive," Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said of covering immigrants who are in the country illegally. He declined to say how that edict would be implemented, saying: "I'm just saying they're not covered."
       
      Undocumented workers make up a significant portion of the nation's 46 million uninsured, and excluding them from coverage could force hospitals to continue to make up the cost of their care.
       
      Baucus' comments are likely to sell well with key Republicans on his committee. The hot-button issue of medical care for immigrants almost derailed President Obama's expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program earlier this year. Republican senators such as Charles Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch, stalwart supporters of the program, voted no because it was extended to legal immigrants.
       
      Speaking at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, Baucus said he expects his committee to draft a comprehensive plan to overhaul the health care system by mid-June and that chances for a bipartisan compromise are "very, very high." He said the measure is likely to include a "public option" -- a government-sponsored program opposed by many Republicans -- that would compete with private insurers.
       
       
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