Last night Democrats held another late night closed door meeting attempting to negotiate a final health care package. This morning, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY Chairman of Ways and Means) told reporters that Democratic leaders hope to send a package to the Congressional Budget Office by Saturday. Rangel has also said that an agreement on "core issues" may be reached as early as tomorrow. Democratic leaders, who have been working out the differences between the House and Senate versions behind closed-doors, were unclear if they will be sending a complete bill, or just portions. The Congressional Budget Office score, which provides cost estimates, may be key to many members (especially if the cost is higher than expected), and neither the House or the Senate can afford to lose votes.
One of the key recent sticking points has been over the so-called tax on "Cadillac Plans." For more on this see here. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has, this afternoon, told colleagues that organized labor struck a deal with the White House. Labor groups have not yet claimed agreement. Democrats are still hopeful that they will reach agreement and still have their eye on passing health care restructuring right around the presidential state of the union address.