The US Senate Finance Committee approved the health reform bill with a 14-9 majority on 13th October 2009.
The bill, drawn up by chairman Senator Max Baucus, proposes a ten-year US$829 billion plan to reduce health costs and provide affordable health insurance, but does not include a government-run, universal health insurance scheme.
The bill will now go through a compromise process with the bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labour and Pensions (HELP) Committee in July 2009, before receiving a full vote on the Senate floor.
The Finance panel is the last of five Congressional committees to put forward health reform proposals.
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the US pharmaceutical market, including some background information on the healthcare system and reform plans, is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: USA (published September 2009)