The Senate Finance Committee will hold a landmark vote on health-care reform legislation Tuesday that is expected to underscore the deep partisan divisions that have emerged and hardened over five months of debate.
With few, if any, Republicans expected to support the bill sponsored by Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.), Democrats have already begun their own internal negotiations aimed at reconciling the various measures passed by House and Senate committees. As part of that exercise, lawmakers are reviving ideas that had been discarded, including a new approach to a government insurance plan that appears to be gaining support with party moderates.
The finance panel's vote marks a watershed in the quest to overhaul the country's health-care system. Not since Theodore Roosevelt proposed universal health care during the 1912 presidential campaign has any such bill come this far.