The story

The seemingly elusive effort to reach a consensus on health care reform got a new boost Wednesday with the long-awaited launch of a plan believed to have the best hope so far of winning support from centrist Democrats and Republicans.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled a summary of the legislation after months of contentious negotiations conducted against the backdrop of often heated town hall forums across the country.

The proposal would cost $774 billion over 10 years while reducing the federal deficit by $49 billion in that period, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Baucus, a Montana Democrat, put the price tag at $856 billion. Finance Committee aides attributed the different totals to accounting methods rather than any variation in the final overall costs. Read full article »

CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Dana Bash, Ted Barrett and Ed Henry contributed to this report.

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