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Byline: Kristi Ellis
Senate Finance Committee OKs Health Bill
The Senate Finance Committee approved its health care reform package Tuesday, advancing President Obama's signature issue and providing momentum for an historical debate and vote in Congress this year.
The last of five congressional committees to consider and approve a health care proposal, the finance committee passed a $829 billion, 10-year health care reform bill on a 14-to-9 vote, completing more than five months of intense bipartisan negotiations and moving the debate into the next phase.
Following passage in the last committee, retailers redoubled their lobbying push against onerous employer mandates for health insurance coverage, as Democratic leaders shifted into high gear to bring sweeping reform legislation to a vote in the House and Senate.
Considered the only committee capable of crafting a bipartisan compromise, the finance committee secured a "yes" vote from moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, …