The Senate is preparing for a debate of mammoth proportions after this Thanksgiving holiday. The Senate voted on Saturday to debate the bill by a 60-39 vote, despite strong opposition from some leaders, mainly Republican. As previously reported, the Health Care reform bill already passed in the House of Representatives, skimming by on a vote of 220-215.
Now that the bill’s reached the Senate, a heated debate is expected.
According to The Associated Press, the bill would extend coverage to roughly 31 million people, crack down on insurance company practices that deny or dilute benefits and cut down spending on medical care nationwide.
In the final minutes of Saturday’s daylong session, Majority Leader Harry Reid accused Republicans of trying to stifle a historic debate the nation needed.
The Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said the vote was anything but procedural — casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a “massive and unsustainable debt.”
On Sunday, moderate Senate Democrats threatened to scuttle health-care legislation if their demands aren’t met, while more liberal members warned their party leaders not to bend.
This could get ugly. Look for more coverage on President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bill when the debate begins after the holiday.