MOMENTUM

Health Care Advances in House

Things are looking up for health care reform as Congress approaches its recess. On Friday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve a compromise health bill after weeks of often contentious negotiations between liberal and conservative Democrats. The final count was 31 to 28, with five Democrats and all Republicans voting against it. Meanwhile, in the Senate, a key lawmaker accused of stalling his own committee's vote suggested his patience might be at an end. Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), who chairs the finance committee, indicated on Friday that ongoing negotiations between Republicans and Democrats would finish by September 15&mdashwith or without a deal. The move could clear the way for a partisan bill to pass out of the committee, where Baucus has emphasized bringing both parties together until now.