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Senate Democrats to Hold Special Health Care Caucus Wednesday

Senate Democrats will hold a special caucus Wednesday to discuss health care reform.

One senior Senate Democratic aide cautioned that the 12:30 p.m. meeting is not intended to provide Senators with an awaited Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of the reconciliation measure, saying it was merely an “update” for Members on where leaders are in the process.

House and Senate leaders had originally expected the CBO score to be available Monday, but continued tinkering with language in the bill has delayed that. Aides said Tuesday that a cost estimate could be ready at some point Wednesday.

House Democrats hope to vote on the health care overhaul bill before President Barack Obama leaves for a trip to Asia on Sunday. Leaders in that chamber are continuing to try to corral the 216 votes necessary for passage, and the procedure under which they will try to clear the overhaul.

The Senate would likely take up the reconciliation measure sometime next week once the House acts.

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