Changes of Heart

Baucus: Health-Care Reform This Year

Music to liberals’ ears: Montana Senator Max Baucus, the head of the Senate Finance Committee, said on Monday that health-care reform will pass this year, even if Republicans back out of bipartisan negotiations. This matters because Baucus is the head of the so-called Gang of Six—three Democratic and three Republican senators who have been negotiating over the bill. Already, the Gang of Six appears to have lost a member: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs slammed Senator Mike Enzi after he used the GOP’s weekly radio address to attack health care. Baucus said that, should bipartisanship fail, Democrats will use the “nuclear option”—turning to budget reconciliation to pass a bill with 51 votes.