Baucus: Dems May Have To Go It Alone On Health Care Reform


Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus might have gotten an earful from President Obama yesterday at a White House health care meeting. Why? Because now he’s publicly acknowledging that bipartisan negotiations could collapse forcing Democrats to advance a bill on a party-line basis.

“If Republicans aren’t there, it could get to the point where sometime after the recess… Democrats may have to go in a different direction,” Baucus said. “I hope not, but we have to face facts.”

Baucus has been one of the chief boosters of the idea of passing a consensus bill. That commitment has vexed liberals, but that’s part of what makes his statement today significant.


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at