Durbin: Healthcare financing will need 'more conservative approach' in Senate

A "more conservative approach" to raising revenues to finance healthcare reform will probably be needed in the Senate's proposed legislation, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Monday.

Durbin seemed to nix a House-led proposal to impose a surtax on wealthy Americans in order to pay for healthcare reform, a top initiative for President Obama and Democrats in control of Congress.

"We, of course, are hoping for bipartisan support which means probably a more conservative approach when it comes to revenue," Durbin said of the progress on healthcare legislation in the Senate during an appearance on MSNBC.

Healthcare reform has flailed in the Senate during an ongoing bid to win over centrist Democrats and Republicans. Chief among the stumbling blocks are the inclusion of a public (or "government-run") option and how to finance the bill.

"I think it may be different than what the House is proposing, which is a tax on people in higher income categories alone," Durbin said of his expectations for the Senate bill.

The Illinois Democrat said that Senators evaluated taxing healthcare benefits for the wealthy, but that it wasn't a viable solution.

"the general consensus was: Let's not do it," he said. "Neither party really wanted to move forward with that as a major part of the program."

More in News

St. Louis alderman: More resignations needed for 'healing' in Ferguson

Read more »