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Health insurance reform passes Senate Finance Committee

Posted On Tue, October 13, 2009

An $829 billion plan that would bring changes to the health insurance system was approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

The reform plan passed the committee by a 14-9 vote. Olympia Snowe of Maine was the only Republican on the panel to vote for the plan, which was crafted by Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana.

"When history calls, history calls," Snowe said, though she added that she might not vote for the bill after it's debated in the Senate.

The next step for the bill will be for Senate Majority Leader and Nevada Democrat Harry Reid to combine it with a version passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Reid said the process of doing so will involve committee chairmen and the White House and will aim at getting the 60 votes in the Senate.

Some of the provisions in the bill would include helping lower-income households get health insurance. Recently, insurance companies wanted to make sure strict cash penalties were put forward by the bill for households that refuse to get health insurance.

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