Incremental Health News

Sometimes you get so wrapped up in covering stories in the Congress that just the smallest thing makes you run around the Capitol like a wild rabbit waiting to dart across the road in front of a speeding car.

That's the way I felt when the Associated Press sent out a flash/urgent advisory that a plan being developed by a group of Senators was now only going to cost $880 billion over 10 years instead of $900 billion.

But that's where we are, waiting for the proverbial puff of white smoke from Sen. Max Baucus and five other Senators trying to forge a health care reform deal.

Baucus is now sending hints that his plan will be released today or Wednesday - I can't wait to read through another thousand pages of fine print.  How about you?

Along those lines, Republicans in the House tried to seize back some momentum in the health care debate by demanding the fine print of what President Obama spoke about in his speech to Congress last week.

Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) took to the House floor to basically say, okay Mr. President, we heard your speech, but where is the legislative language?

"Madame Speaker, we need to be told what the bill is," said Gohmert, who also put in a strong defense of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), saying Wilson doesn't need to apologize again for his "You lie!" outburst during the President's speech next week.

Meanwhile today, House Democratic leaders have put together a health care "forum" as part of their efforts to rally support behind the President's plan.

It would be very interesting to see some of the emerging vote estimates right now about how top Democrats see the outcome on a public health insurance option.

As for when lawmakers might actually get something to vote on in the full House and Senate....it probably isn't going to happen in September, though we will have some committee action in the Senate.

It's going to take a lot more back room wheeling and dealing before Democrats are anywhere near ready to go to the floor.