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Waxman, Baucus: Congress determined to enact health reform

March 3, 2009

House and Senate leaders are determined to send health reform legislation to the president this year, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) told hospital leaders at a conference today in Washington, D.C. To pass Congress, any legislation to reform health care and expand coverage "will have to build on the system that we have in place today," Waxman said. "Reform this large, affecting every corner of American society, can't be handed down and imposed. We have to all work together to get it right." Addressing the Federation of American Hospitals policy conference, Waxman said he has a "unique opportunity" to forge such a consensus as chair of the committee. At a separate event today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said he hopes to send a bipartisan health care reform bill to the Senate floor before the August recess, possibly as early as June. "I am roaring forward because health care reform must happen now," Baucus told reporters at a briefing sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Families USA and National Federation of Independent Business.