WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Max Baucus said Friday he expects the Finance Committee to release a healthcare reform bill next week.
Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the committee, said he plans to hold a last meeting of the "Gang of Six," a bipartisan group of senators, on Monday, Politico reported. That means a bill could come out of the committee by Tuesday.
"We are starting to reach closure," he said.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said the group discussed expanding Medicaid on Friday. On Monday, the senators expect to talk to governors and discuss ways of curbing malpractice claims.
Snowe refused to say whether she would support a bill.
Also Friday, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the majority leader, said the House may pass a bill with some form of public option.
"The public option is a priority for us," he told CNN. "It's our objective, and we think that in some form, a public option will be available."
But Hoyer said any bill needs 218 votes to pass the House and a majority in the Senate, suggesting he would support one without the public option to get healthcare reform.