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Senate Finance Committee passes healthcare reform bill

On October 13, the Senate Finance Committee, which spent the past two weeks discussing 130 amendments, approved its healthcare reform bill by a vote of 14-9. It is one of five pieces of legislation seriously being considered on Capitol Hill and is the only plan that excludes a public option, according to CNN.

The bill is expected to cost $829 billion over the next ten years and is partially financed by about $400 billion in spending cuts, including significant Medicare reductions. Democratic leaders in the House and Senate will begin drafting a single piece of legislation out of the five existing proposals. Republicans refuse to endorse a public option plan, which they argue would eventually lead to a government-run healthcare system. Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine was the only Republican committee member to support the bill, which was initially drafted by Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT.