November 20th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
5 years ago

What to expect in Senate's Saturday health care vote

Sens. Jack Reed, left, Dick Durbin and Robert Menendez, right, hold a news conference about health care Friday at the Captiol.
Sens. Jack Reed, left, Dick Durbin and Robert Menendez, right, hold a news conference about health care Friday at the Captiol.

Washington (CNN) – To debate or not to debate the Senate's health care reform bill; that is the question.

The legislative body on Saturday is expected to vote on whether to begin debate - also known as invoking cloture - on its version of the health care bill, which was introduced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid says the 2,074-page bill would expand health insurance coverage to 30 million more Americans at an estimated cost of $849 billion over 10 years. A House bill was passed nearly two weeks ago.

Proceedings begin at 10 a.m. and will last through the early evening.

Around 8 p.m., the Senate will hold a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture.

Reid needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome a certain GOP filibuster attempt and open the chamber's debate on the bill. It would take another 60 votes to close debate that could last for weeks, while final approval of the bill would require only a simple majority.

So how will the Democratic leadership get the magic number 60?

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Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. TCM

    What to expect? A lot o "No's.." unless Reid has agreed to buy more votes with China's loan money...

    November 20, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Moderate Democrat

    "Landrieu says she's concerned about the bill's costs to small businesses and individuals, and says she's opposed to a public health insurance option "that will undermine the private insurance market.""

    That is by far, the most retarded and blatant double speak ever uttered. The costs of the bill REDUCE the deficit, while the current private sector is RAPING america in HIGH costs, and MURDERING them as well (to the tune of 45000 americans per year). They are putting small businesses OUT of business and are killing the individuals. Private insurance DOES NOT WORK, unless you are in favor of a DEATH PANEL, you will vote yes for a public option. Because as it stands, Private Insurance IS the death panel.

    It is a horrific problem if ONE industry accounts for SIXTEEN percent of your GDP. If they are raping us that much, then they MUST be controlled. It would be a MORON who wouldn't see the benefit in reclaiming a large portion of that SIXTEEN percent, and using it to SAVE americans for a change, rather then SLAUGHTER them under the current PRIVATE HEALTH CARE system.

    November 20, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. joel palmer

    Speaking for the hundreds of thousands of like-minded independent democrats, I had better not see any democrats or independents siding with the GOP on Saturday.

    Payback will be swift and terrible

    November 20, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    This isn't on topic, but I just had to bring it up for these loony Teabaggers.

    GWB: As for his own decision last fall to approve the $700 billion bank bailout, Bush said he was forced to ignore his "free market instincts" to avoid a "global financial catastrophe."
    He called the decision "one of the most difficult of my presidency."

    Did you get that Teabaggers??

    November 20, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. John independent from NY

    A word for my 2 Democratic senators whom I have consistently supported: If you support this health plan as proposed you have lost all support from me and anyone I can influence. Plain simple, this is a theoretical good idea proposed as garbage, expensive garbage.

    No Government run anything , just make the rules.
    No limits on personnal decisions ie abortion.
    No requirement for the purchase health insurance.
    Nothing should be free for anyone.
    The native Americans must sign on as US citizens or go sovereign.
    No coverage at all for illegal immigrants.
    No taxes on businesses, just incentives to cover more of their own.
    No freebies for Lousiana or other "troubled" states.
    Apply the KISS principle. Keep it Simple stupid

    November 20, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. CBR

    Is there any question that the Republicans will vote against debate of the health care bill on Saturday? Many Democrats will vote for it. The only question is whether enough Democrats will bote to debate the issue.

    Are the Republicans just plain stubborn or do they worry that the Dems might just prevail. A member of the GOP and some Democrat needs to explain why they cannot support health care reform but have voted to maintain a war for eight years. I would really like to see how much money we have spent over the last eight years on the war. I wonder if it would cover health care reform.

    November 20, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. File under "Sarcasm"

    "So how will the Democratic leadership get the magic number 60?

    They'll use the usual carrot and stick methods. It's already been reported that the bill now contains $100 million in "earmarks" for Louisiana's Mary Landrieu . There'll be something similar for Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas or they'll twist her arm in a closed door meeting based on what support they'll withhold from her in the future. If a lobbyist bribed or threatened a Senator there'd be hell to pay but it's OK if it's their leadership.

    We expect our elected representatives to vote their conscience. It's too bad that their leadership doesn't have any, only a political win at all costs mentality.

    November 20, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Pussa Singh

    I am a wealthy Arab. I invest heavly with American health insurance companies. This DEM proposal on health care insurance will undermine my portfolio in that the Health insurance companies will not make sizable profits and pay me the will deserved dividents that I deserve. I ask all Americans to rise up and stop this insane proposal dead in its tracks.

    November 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Jim

    How could any Senator of either party NOT vote to begin the formal DEBATE on this most important issue? That is why we elect our legislators – to debate, analyze, argue, amend and ultimately pass legislation by a majority vote. Those are the rules of our Republic.

    I will be totally ashamed if the "Republican" party refuses to debate ths issues as a loyal opposition, and "kicks the can forward" to block health care reform for another 70 years (as it tried to in the 1930s)!

    November 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Mickey

    The Republicans are full of tripe... wasn't it the GOP who wanted to outlaw the filibuster when the Dems took control in 2006? Republicans are traitors, plain and simple, and offer no real solutions to today's problems, except tax cuts for the rich...well SCREW YOU!

    The GOP and their enablers such as Rush, Palin, Hannity, and Beck The Clown are nothing but obstructionists.

    November 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. mario mtl ca

    Hope for you you'll have it,, it's about time

    November 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. barry g

    I said it before and will say it again, the Republicans (all of them) would vote down health care for their own mothers!!

    November 20, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. faulpelz

    Palin is the greatest energizer of the Democratic party. She will offer up a landslide of votes for the left.

    November 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. Why do Republican'ts hate America so much?

    Landrieu . . . ."she's opposed to a public health insurance option "that will undermine the private insurance market.""

    Excuse me, Senator Landrieu??!!!! Were you elected to represent the private insurance companies or were you elected to represent the people of your state??? I think you've got your priorities back-assward and you'd better get them straight or I think you may find yourself out of a job!

    November 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Josh NYC

    "And I expect the GOP to finally realize that the people want this."

    The problem is the "this" in your statement. No one can say for sure exactly what the "this" is.

    November 20, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Truth Matters

    After 10 years of paying attention to the Republicon party, I am still wondering what they are for. And if they do actually stand for anything, did they deliver it when they they had control of the White House, Senate, Congress (and Supreme Court)?
    Because all I have seen from them are temper tamtrums, foot stomping and coming up with evil ways to deceive the American people. (oh yes, and trying their darndest to make sure the Democrats don't accomplish anything that would actually help American Families).

    Can anybody tell me why Republicans are so against American families?

    November 20, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Vote for cloture – it's the only way anything will get done with the obstructionist Republicans.

    The GOP's policies are proven failures and they've said they want our President and by extension, our country, to fail.

    The Republicans have shown time and time and time again that they are more concerned about their party, power and money.

    The time is now for real health care reform, including a robust public option, no opt-out for states, and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

    In addition to the cost savings, reform like this will create and maintain a healthier, more productive populace.

    Which we will need as we move ahead with smart, renewable energy, cutting-edge technological developments and a sustainable economy.

    You know, all the stuff that has and will in the future make our country great.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    November 20, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Rose

    If Reid continues to buy off members he will get the 60 votes. I only hope that there are one or two of these Senators won't fall for the bribe.
    He is buying them off with our tax dollars, he is the worst Majority leader ever, in fact he is an even worse Senator. He looks like he is in a perpetual coma!

    November 20, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Whazzup

    This bill is whats retarded , if passed the working class will end up being taxed out the wazzo to pay for the welfare class (as usual) and will have worse health care to show for it. Why burden so many for so few. Congress needs a lesson in economics 101.

    November 20, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. John

    Pass this bill and get over with.

    November 20, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. russell

    November 20th, 2009 4:59 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    You dumb gullable Americans , I read one comment on here stating that Sarah doesn't change her views on anything and that she's honest .........well gullable Americans poor Ole Sarah hasn't made it to Washington yet , and if she ever does she'll change her stripes just like any other politician , when will you lame Americans wake , your senators and congressman are all self serving , you may have one in Washington that may have the actual intentions of helping , but when you have the other side intention puttung up road blocks things will never get done in this country.........why ? because their selfserving , their main goal is to take care of the wealthy , wallstreet and each other .......you and me were just rocks on the side of the road to them....

    November 20, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. File under "Sarcasm"

    "Moderate Democrat", your rant qualifies you to be a "Liberal Democrat" and possibly even a "Left Wing Looney.

    Please put in your application for an upgrade as soon as possible. Don't forget to include the $29.95 healthcare tax on your application. It will go to fund the $100 million in earmarks promised Mary Landrieu for her vote.

    November 20, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    Expect the Democrats to wither because 1 out of 5 people who happen to be nutjobs think this is a bad idea because they heard the fat gas bag tell them so, and expect the Republicans to pout, pump their chests, ACT like outraged chimpanzees (who are actually smarter than the Republicans) and expect the GOP to take orders from their coorporate masters (I know it sounds so cliche but it's true, just ask Boehner).

    Ken Lay has to get paid, but Martha can go to jail for $30,000.

    Great work knuckleheads.

    November 20, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. JES

    Have anyone of you read the bill not someone else reading for you but you.

    November 20, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Darth Vadik, CA

    Go Sarah go go...

    sounds a lot like:

    Go Hillary, go go, about a year and a half ago,

    hmmmmmmm?
    Makes you wonder who kept that "movement" going for so long.

    November 20, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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