For all that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus moved frustratingly slowly the last five months – especially to those of us standing in the hall in front of his office waiting for an agreement — he’s moving lightning quick to the mark up. The bill that he will be moving through his committee tomorrow will already have some of the 500+ filed amendments from both Democrats and Republicans incorporated into it, according to sources close to the negotiation. The largest modification will likely be in the affordability area – an issue of much concern to Democrats — though several more modifications will also be included. The changes will all be fully offset using the on-budget surplus in the bill — $28 billion.
Finance Committee members are meeting this evening at 5:30pm to talk over the changes. Also on the table for debate: a number of amendments filed to reduce the penalty imposed for not purchasing insurance and to make sure that families at all income ranges can afford the lower cost insurance to be provided through the Exchange.