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Best Health Care News In A While

I've been getting a little nervous about the political trajectory of health care. This passage in Politico's story today ("The three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are under pressure from their leadership not to cut a deal too quickly, according to sources, and that message has been delivered frequently in recent weeks.") is especially vexing.

I don't discount the possibility of getting a decent health care bill that has some Republican support. But the only way those Republicans, except maybe Olympia Snowe, will support a bill is if they think there's a strong chance that Democrats will pass an even more liberal bill without their input. This would give themsome incentive to compromise, but zero incentive to compromise quickly. Indeed, they have a strong incentive to drag out the negotiations as long as possible.

Therefore I'm glad to see this new report in the New York Times:

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, has told colleagues he will press ahead with major health care legislation on Sept. 15 even if he does not have a bipartisan deal, Democrats said.

If Baucus holds to that, it's huge. It may not be as soon as it ought to be, but Baucus needs to have a deadline.

[Cross-posted from The Plank]