Sen. Kay Hagan said this morning she is not ready to commit to the compromise bill being considered this week by the Senate Finance Commitee.
Hagan, a Greensboro Democrat, voiced strong support for the need for changes in the health care in a Senate speech Wednesday, saying health care costs were bankrupting individuals and causing hardships for businesses, Rob Christensen reports.
But she said she was withholding judgment on legislation proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, that is being considered this week. She noted that the bill that comes out of the Finance Committee will be merged with a bill that has already passed the Senate Health Committee.
"I think there are over 500 amendments," Hagan told reporters in a teleconference. "I'm anxious to see the debate and the amendments that come forward this week. My key conditions have always been you have to have pre conditions not being an impediment to health care, you have a way to open up health insurance to other people, you have to have a bill that is deficit-neutral."
More after the jump.
Hagan said she thought a health care bill would pass Congress this year, hopefully with bi-partisan support.
She also said she would support some provision that would address medical malpractice lawsuits.
Such measures have strong support of doctors and businesses, but opposed by trial lawyers. "I would like see us to address some of the costs created by defensive medicine," Hagan said. "During the recess I spent a lot of time with many doctors and they spoke about that a lot."