A key member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said on Monday that Sen. Max Baucus' (D-Mont.) healthcare proposal is "the right framework for reform."

Rep. Frank Pallone's (D-N.J.) comments represent a significant endorsement of the Baucus plan. Pallone serves as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, which passed H.R. 3200 before August recess.  The House bill includes a public option but the Senate Finance Committee chairman's does not.

Though he backed Baucus' plan as a general outline, Pallone said said that the $856 billion bill needs to be "more affordable." 

The eleventh-term Democrat tweeted

The Baucus health bill will get marked-up this week. It needs to be more affordable, but it has the right framework for reform.

Republicans and Democrats both criticized Baucus' plan after he released it last week. But some key centrist lawmakers have come to support the bill as a good starting point.

Yet several members of the Senate Finance Committee have said they would propose amendments to the bill during markup starting on Tuesday.