Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, knows probably better than anyone in Congress how difficult it is meet deadlines when it comes to healthcare, calling the latest one out of the White House - a March 18 deadline for House passage of the $871 billion health care bill "a steep climb."
"I don't want to give dates," Baucus said, "All I know is deadlines are generally more of a problem than an opportunity."
Baucus said right now, Democrats on both sides of Congress are working on their trust deficit. "There's considerable mistrust," Baucus said, but he added that that's nothing unusual.
He and fellow Senate Democratic leaders are to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later today in her suite of offices to discuss healthcare.
Baucus is a central figure on writing a healthcare reconciliation bill, which would circumvent a GOP filibuster, and has been working with his House counterparts and leadership on putting together a product that can pass muster.
Congressional Democrats want to use this special parliamentary procedure (used 22 times since 1980) to pass a bill that makes adjustments to the $871 billion healthcare bill that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve last year.