The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Max Baucus, has recessed for the weekend and will come back Tuesday morning, where key amendments–like those about the public health insurance option–will be taken up. I expect that there will be lots of staff work over the weekend, maybe even some deals.
For those who want more of a blow by blow, check out our @healthaccess Twitter feed, at www.twitter.com/healthaccess, and those of others who have been tweeting the Committee hearings, including: @wonkroom, @NewHealthDialog, also @jcohntnr, @ktumulty, @niq77174.
For more detail, you can go to the more old-fashioned liveblogging and analysis done really well by Tim Noah at Slate, as well as at the Washington Post’s The Daily Dose.
The debates are interesting to listen to. Here’s one exchange of note, between Senator Stabenow and Senate Kyl, on whether the Secretary of Health and Human Services should be allowed to set a minimum benefit package.
I hope Governor Schwarzenegger is listening to Senator Stabenow. The legislature passed AB 98 (De La Torre): to require all individual insurance policies to cover maternity services, and he has until October 11th to sign or veto it. We have a societal, financial, and familial interest in ensuring that maternity care is part of a basic benefit package. The point of health coverage is that we pool our resources so when we need coverage it is there, whether is is maternity care for some women, or treatment for prostate cancer for some men.