On July 15, 2009, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) approved its health reform plan, the “Affordable Health Choices Act,” on a party-line 13-to-10 vote. The major features of the legislation are summarized in a previous posting. Note that the HELP Committee does not have jurisdiction over Medicare or Medicaid; provisions impacting those programs will be included in the Senate Finance Committee health reform bill. A group of Finance Committee members are still meeting to agree on a bipartisan bill, but panel members are no longer predicting when the details of a compromise package may be released. After Finance Committee action, the two Committee packages then will be combined for consideration by the full Senate, likely sometime in the fall.