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Merger Talks Resume Tonight

Closed-door negotiations on a final Senate health care bill will resume at 6 p.m. Monday in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office.The talks are set to include Reid, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.)and Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.), the No. 2 Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Senior White House officials, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Nancy-Ann DeParle, President Barack Obama’s chief health care adviser, are also likely to participate. The negotiations kicked off last week after the Finance Committee passed its version of a health care overhaul, 14-9. Reid is leading the effort to merge that measure with a competing version passed by the HELP Committee this summer.The main difference between the two bills is that the HELP bill calls for a public insurance option while the Finance measure calls for a network of health insurance cooperatives.

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