There will be no health care vote in the Senate until after the August recess. That's the word from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who says it is better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than trying to jam something through. The decision to delay a Senate vote came after President Obama backed away from his August deadline for passing legislation. In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says a bill could be voted on in the next 48 hours.
The Senate Finance Committee has been active in health care negotiations. Reid says ongoing talks with Ranking Finance Committee Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and two other panel Republicans, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, were productive and would lead toward Senate approval of the final bill with at least the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural challenges. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a member of the Senate Finance Committee says he will walk away from the health care debate because of his concern with costs.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told the NAFB News Service it's time to look at what the current system is giving Americans – and then ask – are we satisfied? Vilsack hopes Congress recognizes the need for action and can focus on a program that – among other things – provides options, provides competition to private insurance companies and expands coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.