November 22nd, 2009
05:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Senate Dems suggest they're open to altering health care bill

Washington (CNN) - Amid conflicting and heated rhetoric, a political pragmatism began to emerge Sunday as senators prepared for a debate on a sweeping Democratic health care bill.

Senate Democrats barely won a vote Saturday night to open debate on the 2,074-page bill. The debate on amending the proposal is expected to last for weeks and won't begin until after Thanksgiving.

Some legislators got a head start Sunday, reciting well-honed arguments for and against the bill and offering perspectives on the political realities facing Congress.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber's second-ranking Democrat, acknowledged he was open to changing the bill's controversial government-run public health insurance option favored by the left.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Bill

    They lie.

    November 22, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Just do it right. No more concessions to the republicans, as they will not support anything that jeopardizes their relationship with the health insurance industry.

    November 22, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Sternberg

    Of course they will modify the Healthcare Bill. Thats all it is, a 2000 pages of modifications to the original premise, now flying in a looser and looser formation as more and more "cures" and sweeteners are attached.

    November 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    The Dems are only interested in making history. They have no concern for how many lives they wreck or how many people suffer. All they can see is a chance to make history no matter the cost.

    November 22, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. CNN afraid of a liberal post

    I am going to write a letter to Harry Reid and ask him to read it. Tell him that since the public votes for the members of congress how come they don't do what the majority of the public wants.

    How come it is I CAN'T DO THIS IN GOOD CONSCIENCE (even tho the public wantsit). It aint' what YOU WANT congress it is what the public wants. I think you people don't realize what your job description is.

    November 22, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Rex McKee

    For the moderate and conservative democrats: no option, no funding....no option, no committee chairs. Quid pro Quo.

    November 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Grrr-awful-o

    It's easy to suggest that when a lot of your fellow dems have already said they won't vote for it unless it is changed. "Oh, I think I'd be open to change in that case...". ROFL!

    November 22, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. Lee

    Without altering, and inputs from the R-E-A-L American people, Obama and the rest of Democrats are hopeless and useless.

    November 22, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Mark

    Yes alter it down to about 1 million dollars not a trillion!!

    November 22, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. BootsC

    Anything short of a curtaIlment of insurance companies grasp on the wallet of america and a bill containing a public option will cause the Dems base to disintegrate.

    I might add that the titillating woeing of Senators Landrieu, Lincoln and Nelson proves that the senate is morally bankrupt to degree far greater than the financial status of this country. It indicates to this voter that voter reform will have a far greater impact on this counties fwd movement than any health care bill politicians may pass.

    November 22, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. tcaudilllg

    And how else do you plan to keep the costs down? It's either the public option or regulation of the industry, your choice.

    November 22, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. valwayne

    How much does it cost to buy the vote of a U.S. Senator for a preliminary votoe that the majority of voters in her state don't want her to make? $100 million dollars in borrowed money! Sen Landrieu's vote didn't come cheap the American taxpayers. The Chicago Way truly is running this country and we wonder why our debt is so massive?

    November 22, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Buck in NC

    Instead of health insurance for all (the idea of which has the insurers and big pharma drooling), Americans need access to affordable health care. There is a difference.

    November 22, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. kd

    here's a suggestion – SINGLE PAYER!

    November 22, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Emma

    Why do our legislators not honor the wishes of Americans who want them to help make our limited incomes go farther?

    November 22, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    If they take the Public Option out, let the bill fail. I already pay most of what I make to insurance companies....I don't want them to get a hand out with a mandate.

    You take it out, you will be going home in 2010, 2012, and 2014

    November 22, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. WrongKindofChange

    They're open, or so they say, to seem like they are willing to work together...in reality though they are confident that they will be able to buy the votes they need to pass it.

    Go Dems! You are single handily going to run this country into the ground with your corrupt politics and over spending.

    November 22, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    As long as they alter it to keep it from being a just another give-away to welfare bums, and alter it some more to keep it from being a trillion-dollar waste of money, and alter it even more than that to actually lower the cost of health care, it might be worth supporting.

    November 22, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. The Dems Are Morons

    For the record, they have the majority. What kind of crazy wacko talk is it to say you will allow the minority to alter anything? When the GOPers were the majority they treated the Dems like doormats. Now that the Dems are in charge, they are laying back down to allow the Rethugs to walk all over them. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. No wonder they can't stay in charge.

    Who is driving the bus? If the Dems are going to go to the back of the bus anyway, why not just hand the GOPers the keys? What morons–they don't deserve President Obama or a majority. Fools.

    Oh, and the GOPers know the Dems are spineless. They are giving them one week to fold. All the GOPers have to do is look like they're going to give them a hard time and they fold, fold, fold. Argggggggg.

    November 22, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Lee in Oregon

    By the time the Senate's bill is debated and redone there won't be anything left but a watered down bill thanks to a handful of Democratic senators who think they are running the show.

    What a joke!

    November 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Mickey

    "Senate Dems suggest they're open to altering health care bill'.

    Republicans better take the cue...THIS is what bipartisanship is all about! Now stop the obstructionist tactics, take your heads out of your butts, and COME UP WITH SOME VIABLE IDEAS and contribute, contribute, CONTRIBUTE!

    GOP: Evolve or die...

    November 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. clayusmcret

    We now know what a Louisiana prostitute looks like and how much she can get paid if she pretends to play hard to get.

    November 22, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. D

    Let's be as flexible as the GOP has been. So far all I've heard from them is tort reform, and buying across state lines. It's laughable since many states did those reforms YEARS ago...why do you think you don't hear of them? BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WORK. You simply provide more protection to those who genuinely do need to be sued.

    It's simple folks...our system is NOT sustainable. Those of you that resist, yep you have great coverage now, so go ahead and chalk up that 300% increase cause thats where you are headed. (Most companies are petitioning to raise 25% this year alone) Then at that point, typical GOP plan...the rich get theirs, and the hell with everybody else.

    Let's do nothing, in 10 years when Medicare D (GOP did that to btw) takes 110% of our governments income (no money for military, education, you name it) and the entire system crashes, it will be socialized medicine across the board.

    November 22, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Ted:Canada

    Dems can't take out the PUBLIC OPTION !!!!

    as the Insurance companies will make the Dem's look bad by rasing insurance rates – the old – "I Told You So Routine"

    Dems need to keep PUBLIC OPTION to ensure insurance rates come down and their ultimate plan works – which it will!!!

    When it does – the Republicans will never get into office again – they will be the offical opposition but in name only – as not one of them will in congress or the senate

    Helath Care Reform will destroy the Republican party for ever...!!!!

    History in the making – CNN – make sure you capture the down fall – once in life time story!!!

    November 22, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Peter s

    Alteration is fine if its going to benefit American people however, it should not be done for political points.

    November 22, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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