Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., talks with reporters outside his office on Captiol Hill September 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Baucus has laid down his "mark." (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

Here it is: America's Health Future Act of 2009.

Or, as it's more widely known, the health care overhaul legislation put together by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who tried to bring some Republicans on board but in the end did not.

Baucus' legislation is 223 pages long, so dig in and feel free to point out things you like and don't like over at the NPR Health Blog or here, where that blog collects messages from readers.

As the Associated Press writes:

Many of the details in the Baucus' bill were already known. Unlike more liberal versions passed by three committees in the House and by the Senate's Health Committee, it shunned liberals' call for the government to sell insurance and relied instead on co-ops to offer coverage in competition with private industry.
Baucus' approach includes a requirement for individuals to buy insurance, with financial penalties for those who don't. Rather than a mandate for larger businesses to provide coverage for employees, they would be required to defray the cost of any government subsidies for which their employees would qualify.
The bill is expected to cost about $880 billion over 10 years, and it tracks closely with the goals Obama laid out in his speech to Congress last week.

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its "preliminary analysis" of the Baucus plan.

One CBO conclusion: "enacting the Chairman's proposal would result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $49 billion over the 2010--2019 period." Another: "The number of nonelderly people who are uninsured would be reduced by about 29 million, leaving about 25 million nonelderly residents uninsured (about one-third of whom would be unauthorized immigrants)."

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. On Capitol Hill a few moments ago, Baucus told reporters that -- even though no Republicans have signed on to his bill as of now -- he thinks some will eventually vote for what he believes is the balanced legislation his work has produced:

categories: Health

9:45 - September 16, 2009