WASHINGTON -- The House Ways and Means Committee began work on health care reform legislation yesterday, with its chairman predicting a protracted debate as there is no consensus among panel members on what approach to take.

Under the schedule laid out by Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill., members will spend the next two weeks debating various alternatives. They will not even begin taking votes to shape the package until after June 7, when Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess.

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