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House Leaders Will Meet Friday to Try to Finalize Health Bill

House leaders are set to hash out many of the details of their health care overhaul at a meeting planned to start Friday morning, including whether to include a public insurance option in the package.“What I believe is we’re really in the cleanup period here,— House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said. “Tomorrow afternoon we should have a better idea— of what will be in the final bill, which leaders hope to unveil next week.Slaughter said the debate is not over whether to include a public insurance option, but how it would operate and the rates it would use. “Nobody’s talking triggers,— she said.Slaughter and Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) both also noted a new Congressional Budget Office estimate showing that the House’s original public insurance option, based on Medicare rates, saves far more money than the negotiated rates included in the Energy and Commerce proposal and in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee bill.Waxman said the new estimate is that the original public option saves $110 billion more over 10 years.Democratic leaders have been working to hash out the final health proposal this week. Earlier Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was mum about the shape and timing of the bill.

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