Health care experts at a forum debated such questions as how payments to medical providers might be structured and how Medicare's administrative costs compare with those of private health insurers.
Senate confirmation of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services probably won't take place until after the coming two-week recess because at least one senator has objected to an expedited procedure to move the nomination.
The Senate adopted its fiscal 2010 budget resolution after a day of considering dozens of amendments. The vote was 55-43, with no Republicans supporting the plan and two Democrats--Evan Bayh of Indiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska--voting against it.
Research into the comparative effectiveness--and cost--of different medical treatments, a key issue in the health care overhaul debate this year, jumped to the fore during Senate debate of the fiscal 2010 budget resolution.
The biggest question facing both the budget resolution and this year's health care debate is whether lawmakers will use a fast-track parliamentary maneuver known as reconciliation to pass the health care bill.