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Congress: Too watered down?

The Senate Finance Committee seems to have struck a health-care deal, but is it too watered down? The AP's Espo reports, "After weeks of secretive talks, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee were edging closer to a compromise that excludes a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite Obama's support for such a plan, officials said. The Finance senators were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs. Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare."

Video: NBC's Chuck Todd reports on lawmakers' effort to reach a bipartisan compromise on a health care reform bill.

While the Senate may have a deal, "Reps. Waxman (D-Calif.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) emerged from more than three hours of negotiations late Monday to say that the Blue Dogs were weighing an offer from Waxman. Blue Dogs have asked Waxman to get a cost estimate for the bill. 'The chairman has made an offer,' said Ross, who is the lead Blue Dog on healthcare reform. 'We have asked that he get a [Congressional Budget Office] score, that is, find out how much it would cost. We're going to review it and see if it's something we can accept.'"

But don't expect a vote by Friday. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says it's not going to happen because of procedural hurdles. But he left open the possibility of doing it Saturday, Monday or Tuesday.