November 20th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
4 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. Donnie

    Don't worry, Reid offered Landrieu $100 million to help her state pay health care costs in exchange for her vote.

    This bill may reduce the deficit in the near term but only because they will be collecting tax for 4 years before the benefits actually kick in. I am all for health care reform but this bill is NOT reform. It is utter garbage filled with accounting methods that do not apply to the real world.

    November 20, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. RTB

    Republicans, Lieberman and flimsy so called moderate 'Democrats' are PATHETIC.
    Of course the insurance industry is raping and fleecing the public. Health care should not be for profit. That's a disgrace.

    November 20, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Katie B in NC

    How can any Senator justify not bringing it to the floor for debate? I want to hear what both sides have to say. A vote not to debate tells me that they're not confident their position will stand up to examination.

    November 20, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Mike from Pekin, IL

    To all of our representatives and senators in DC. I will make a deal with you. Lets pay for our federal deficit BEFORE we launch the single most expensive piece of legislation in History. If you can do that, then I will believe that you will be able to provide cost effective health care reform.

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

    No, no we don't want this!!!

    Reid and his gang need to STOP ramming this health care down the American peoples throats!

    I like my plan and I don't want to be paying for eveyone else!!

    STOP!!

    November 20, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    If this monstrosity passes, get ready to pay at LEAST $1,000 a year for the next 10 years to pay for free health care for the unemployed, uninsurable, homeless, illegal aliens, and fraudsters...all why you're reasonable health care coverage is called "Cadillac" and gets watered down or taxed.

    Welcome to Obama's "double dip" recession!

    November 20, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Gerry

    You say you are going to take out $500 billion from medicare put more that 15 million more people on medicare and it won't cost us a penny more. Anyone who believes this is just plain stupid.

    November 20, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. whaley41

    I hope you people love the public option. I am sure Obama and Congress will be happy to be covered by the same plan middle class Americans will have. Sure they will !!!

    November 20, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. best hiking boots

    Simply, admirable what you have done here. It is fabulous to see you verbalize from the heart and your clarity on this significant subject can be easily seen. Fantastic post and will look forward to your incoming update.

    November 20, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Terry from West Texas

    victim of democrat hypocrisy wrote: "... get ready to pay at LEAST $1,000 a year for the next 10 years to pay for free health care for the unemployed, uninsurable, homeless, illegal aliens, and fraudsters..."

    Let's try to think more clearly. What you are saying is: Get ready for hospitals, physicians, and companies selling medical supplies to overcharge and overbill. That is what is happening to Medicare now. Overbilling and cheating the government has become business-as-usual for our nations health care corporations. We need to put some CEOs in the slammer to send a message. We don't like America's corporations cheating America's tax payers.

    November 20, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. phoenix86

    It will be interesting to see how many Senators are willing to sacrifice their political career by voting for the biggest tax increase and government boondoggle since Obama's porkulus plan.

    Anyone who thinks this plan will work is already so far gone on drugs that healthcare won't matter.

    November 20, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. DJ

    Only 1% of Americans qualify for the public option and the Republican lies continue about "takeover" and "socialism". I hope the bill passes just to annoy the Republican do nothing, delay, finger point, fear-monger, hate, scare and play dumb soap opera theatrics.

    Cluster Fox will have all their usual ministry of propaganda lies on tonight hyping up scare tactics and showing old video clips of rallies from 1 years ago.

    November 20, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. RanDe from SoCal

    How will the Democratic leadership get the magic number 60? Lie, Lie, Lie, and Lie

    November 20, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. C- CITIZEN

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh it's tome to move to China. We have all our jibs there and we owe them sooooooooo much money any way. Let them and their health care system take care of us!

    November 20, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Debby

    Its sad but I think Reid will get his votes. We the taxpayers are going to suffer down the road paying for it. I still would like to know what they consider affordale healthcare. This means how much for an individual if they want to buy into the government plan vs. private.

    November 20, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. Proud Member..Party of No

    Pay attention people....take note of everyone who supports this boondoggle government takeover and vote them out of office!

    November 20, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. terry,va

    Expect a bunch of arm twisting from the socialist one. It won't pass however, because we aren't that far left yet. In another few years we will be with the addition of illegal aliens.

    November 20, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. Gary P.

    Why are members of Congress so intent on passing a bill that a majority of U.S. citizens do not want? Are they crazy, or are we?

    November 20, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Edwin

    Let's cross our fingers that the debate is allowed to start.

    "Straight up or down vote," the republicans used to say. How sad that they oppose it now. Apparently, it is a bad use of policy only when it hurts their own particular agendas.

    Hypocrites.

    November 20, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Albo58

    This bill is a cancer that will only spread if you allow it to pass on to the floor for debate! The President and Dingy Harry will promise the moon, but their promises as usual will be washed out in the final bill! These "leaders" are proven liars and too inept to actually perform real health care reform (read: NOT government take over of the entire health care system in this country)!

    November 20, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. Stu

    What to expect if it passes....the bankruptcy of America. This is just another welfare program we can't afford. Seriously, the existence of health insurance is part of the reason why costs are inflated. If we had to pay cash, not bill a third party, costs would be driven down as the healthcare industry adapted to supply and demand. We also need to end all punitive lawsuits, and block illegals from receiving anything more than emergency care if they can't pay cash up front.

    We've already seen just how bad social security, medicare, and other government programs are. Only an idiot would want more of this.

    November 20, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. Independent Thinker

    It always seems that when people don't want what you want, you just label them "obstructionist."

    I had great hopes (even the audacity of hope) for Obama's pledge for bi-partisanship, but apparently the definition of bi-partisanship is that everyone should agree with you. There has been no honest dialogue because many of the democrats say, "We won!" - therefore, bow down before us. Victory is often short-lived.

    Everyone who is in favor of this bill (or the House bill) including those in the Senate should be required to read all 2,000 pages. Anyone who does read it fully will find a plethora of problems.

    The major problem in America today is that so many fail to think - they just take positions.

    November 20, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. LacrosseDad

    the three cowards will vote for debate, then Dirty Harry will call for a vote knowing he only needs 50 votes and then releasing the 7 senators most likely to be defeated so they can lie and tell us they voted against obamacare...typical leftists liberal hypocrits.

    November 20, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. John Ca.

    Congress.org will get the 60 Votes it need to pass this Health Care BIll
    and will become law by the end of the Year. Do anyone think that the U. S. Senate work fast enough to get this bill on Pres. Obama desk by the year 's end?

    November 20, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. m jeff

    The private Insurance industry has become unaffordable,it time to try something new.

    November 20, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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