Baucus says he has the bodies to pass the health bill … he says

By Daily Maverick Legacy 2 October 2009

Democrats on a key Senate panel backed off from a plan for billions of dollars in new taxes on senior citizens with huge medical expenses, and defeated Republican amendments on abortion, immigration and other divisive issues, all aiming to bring a comprehensive health-care overhaul before the full Senate within two weeks. On the sixth day of debate in the Senate Finance Committee, chairman Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, declared he’s got the votes to approve reforms extending coverage to more than 30 million Americans who lack insurance. He and Republican Senator Charles E. Grassley from Iowa said they expect to finish the bill today. "We're coming to closure," Baucus told reporters. To help defray the cost of the approximately R7 trillion package, the panel agreed to modify a financing provision that would make it harder to deduct medical expenses on personal tax returns. Such are the days of our costly lives.


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US president’s vow to drop countries that are ‘not our friends’ threatens US aid to SA

By Peter Fabricius

"We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson