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Associated Press, Published July 29 2009

Senators reducing costs for health care overhaul plan to reach compromise

WASHINGTON - Senators trying to reach a bipartisan compromise on health care overhaul are reporting progress paring the costs of the plan as they push for a deal this week.

Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the Democrat leading the negotiations, said Wednesday new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show the plan that's taking shape would cover 95 percent of Americans by 2015, and cost about $900 billion over 10 years. That would put costs under the unofficial $1 trillion target the White House has set.

Three Democrats and three Republicans have been negotiating in hopes of producing a plan appealing to the political middle. They hope to reach a deal this week, so the Senate Finance Committee could vote on it next week, before the Senate leaves for its August break.

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