National

Oct 26, 2009 11:05 AM by Associated Press

Clock ticking on Democrats' health care reform

Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are expected to make some key decisions this week about long-delayed health care reform bills.

Time is growing short and the hope is to bring the legislation to a vote in early November.

In the House, that means setting conditions under which the federal government would sell coverage in competition with private industry. The remaining disagreements revolve largely around the fees to be paid doctors and hospitals, and how they should be determined.

In the Senate, it means deciding whether the government gets a role in the marketplace at all, and what rights individual states would have in deciding whether to participate.

Senate Democrats and the White House need to craft acceptable legislation that can command the 60 votes needed to overcome Republican opposition.

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