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. Stu- SW Florida

    This health care bill has to be debated and passed .Many citizens didn't want Medicare ot Social Security either. Now they have lawyers sue for their fair share.
    It's shameful what's happening in this country with much needed health care reform. Repubs just want to continue with the lies greed and collusion of the HC industry. I can't believe ther's not one among them that will stand up for what's right for the people... not what's right for their party. Just politics as usual. What a sad bunch...

    November 20, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. lefty loosy

    Remember all people need health care insurance , even the ones that cant afford it. .
    This piece of brilliant legislation will levy a fine on people without health care insurance.
    So how the hell are they going to afford the fine if they cant afford to
    buy the health care insurance.

    November 20, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. AFact

    No matter what happens on Saturday they have a long way to go on health care. All I will say in they better start finding some jobs and quickly or nothing else will matter in this country.

    Going though a long holiday season with some many people hurting is only going to compound the problem so they best get busy with what counts!

    November 20, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Dane

    I pray the more intelligent Democrats, and Independant Joe realize what they need to do, and vote this down. Robbing Peter to pay Paul...

    If this passes, 25 or so years down the road, we'll be reporting to a government board to assign us our vocations.

    November 20, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Marcus

    Since I am still waiting, and probably will wait forever, for a valid and honest alternative from the Republicans; since we're talking about the number one reason for personal bankrupticy in the US; and since the CBO said that it has its merits (aka have chances to work)...
    VOTE IT AND PASS IT!!!!

    November 20, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Voter

    Let democracy work, forward to the debate. Then all you people who hate Health-care reform so much can get back to the business of scaring everyone. You know throwing a billions dollars away to save millions dollars. It's thankless work and just a little bit sadistic.

    November 20, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. ICARE

    Let no one sleep or eat

    November 20, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. annie against biased news

    Oh and don't forget BRIBES, BRIBES, BRIBES, BRIBES -wouldn't want any demmies coming to their senses!

    November 20, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Voter

    Let democracy work, forward to the debate. Then all you people who hate Health-care reform so much can get back to the business of scaring everyone. You know throwing billions dollars away to save millions dollars. It's thankless work and just a little bit sadistic.

    November 20, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. nancy

    I'm from Canada and I'd like to ask you to stop pay attention to these GOP sponsored adds about Canadians not being able to access care!
    Yes, we pay for healthcare through taxes but at least we don't have to worry about money on our way to the emergency room. No one and I repeat no one has gone bankrupt in this country due to being sick. I can see my family physician anytime I want and I've never had any problems accesing specialist care and evidence based tests. Despite being a conservative,I'm glad to pay tax to ensure healthcare for all because I love my country and its people. I also know that better health means improved productivity and therefore results in better economy.

    November 20, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  11. JIM

    if you believe this administration and majority dems are out to help the downtrodden and helpless to get healthcare you are deluded and a should pay attention to history, the goal is obvious, once you own the health of americans you own their freedom. stack that on top of owning the banks and big business and your socialist outcome is realised.
    BTW
    CNN every story about OBAMA is usually 99% PRO O and full of glowing love from his supporters, but if the blogs go negative there will be only 10 blog posts and then permalinked. I notice EVERY story about Palin has 300 or more negative nasty blogs that border on hysteria, why all the hate??? Your bias is showing way too often..
    I doubt this get posted

    November 20, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. MikeH

    Having paid my own private health insurance for a few months, and the Provider (Regency) raise the monthly premium $50/month while I made no claims whatsoever, I think this plan will benefit most Americans and I hope it passes. The Americans it won't benefit? The fat-cats who have bled America's economy white.

    But the game ain't over. The fat cats will next try to sabotage the bill before it goes into effect. Stay vigilant people, watch your congressman, don't let him become a corrupt minion (anymore than he/she already is) of the Insurance industry.

    November 20, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. Barbara Independent in NY

    This should separate those with a pair and those that really represent the insurance cartels. How sad and disgusting that the American people have been put through this farce.

    November 20, 2009 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. Don't hold your breath

    We live in a corporate controlled serfdom with socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. The America I grew up in is long gone. Now it is run by Bernie Madoffs and Ken Lays who are purchasing our “Democracy” one Senator at a time. They get the bailouts while the weak minded in our once great land are hypnotized by Glenn Beck and other talking heads paid to create a cult of Republicanism that says: benefiting the richest 1% justifies crushing the bottom 30% in a never ending tangle of health care costs and broken promises. Fear is what they sell, fear designed to paralyze your reason and ignore common sense. The common sense would be: if the Government can run Fire Departments, Post Offices, Police and Emergency Services and the Military why couldn’t they do what every other industrialized nation does: Run Healthcare.

    One final note: Obama is just another member of the new Political Class that accepts corporate sponsorship rather than a mandate from the very people that pay the taxes and bills that run what is left of our once great land. So don’t hold your breath regarding a bill that has some of the most powerful forces on earth arrayed against it.

    November 20, 2009 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. Agnes

    Robbing Peter to pay REID!!!! Pay off the national debt first.

    November 20, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  16. S Callahan

    Fast, seek God and his will will be done! Fast!! Fast!

    November 20, 2009 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. jane

    This democratic majority was elected for a reason; let's hope they don't forget.

    November 20, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Jeff

    NEVER trust a bill that is passed between Friday and Monday.

    Congress always votes on decent legislation during the week, and tries to ramrod crappy bills on the weekend. It happened with the House version of this POS as well. If this was a sweetheart of a bill, they'd vote on it on a Tuesday, drum their chests about it all week, and then fly home to blow smoke up their constituent's butts all weekend long.

    Bad news in Washington always surfaces on the weekend. People in the White House are let go on Friday afternoon, in the hopes that questions won't have to be answered for 2.5 days. Babs Boxer and committee admonishes Burris, a fellow Democrat, on Friday.

    There's a pattern here, people: Feces occurs on the weekend in DC!

    November 20, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Why do they have to vote on Saturday night? I didn't know the senators worked on weekends.

    November 20, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  20. Dan

    Senator!
    If you are going to vote no at the end, why waist our time and resources at this economic times and even start the debate!?

    November 20, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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