Committee hopes to have healthcare bill passed by Oct. 1

I missed this on Friday, but Ezra Klein got his hands on an internal Senate Finance Committee memo that explains the hoped-for timeline on healthcare legislation.

According to the memo, the committee plans to have legislation passed and ready for Obama's signature by October 1. (Though a source told Klein Oct. 15 is more realistic.)

Klein:
The Finance Committee: According to the memo, Finance will meet next week to discuss the issues where it sees an emergent consensus. These include delivery system and insurance market reforms -- "80-90% of the bill," the memo says. The author also outlines the "3 major sticking points": Public plan, employer pay or play, and financing.

Finance hopes to "drop a mark" -- a draft bill, essentially -- on June 17. The mark up -- where the committee members argue over and edit the draft -- will take place the week of June 22nd. A summary of the bill, along with preliminary scoring data from the Congressional Budget Office, will be available during that period. The "goal for Finance remains a bipartisan product," the memo assures.

[snip]

The overarching goal is to get health care reform to the president's desk by Oct. 1 - though one Finance Committee staffer confirmed the other dates but said the goal is Oct. 15. It's an ambitious schedule, especially when you consider that in 1993, Congress didn't get a draft bill until Nov. 20 -- the last day of the congressional session.

Jeffrey Young obtained first section of Kennedy's draft legislation, by the way, which you can download here. Kennedy's HELP Committee will be sharing jurisdiction with Finance on healthcare.