November 22nd, 2009
05:03 PM ET
5 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. Proud to be a Republican

    Who can believe the demo rats...Lying is what they know best...

    November 22, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Raul Dominguez

    I agree that we should be open to all ways to lower healthcare costs. Tort reform should be part of the bill. If higher wage earners, physicians and hospitals, and big pharma have a stake in this, reducing malpractice insurance through reform should be included. As a Dem, I want healthcare reform and want to see compromise to get this through. Repubs are wrong not to compromise at all, but Dems have to own this bill no matter what happens so it needs to be right.

    November 22, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Tammy

    they better not alter it too much - by withdrawing what is needed

    November 22, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Charlie Brown

    No! No more compromising! Republicans NEVER compromise

    November 22, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Stu

    Don't amend it...scrap it totally. Unless it bans service to illegals, ends all punitve tort awards, opens competition across state lines, and ends the subsidy of free aid to places like Africa, which we pay for with higher costs, then any reform is useless!

    November 22, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Chipster

    If Democrats betray those of us who worked so hard to gain a majority so that a public health option would be available to those who cannot afford the outrageous cost of health insurance, they can pack up their toys and go home. Few of us will waste our time and money to send them to Washington if they cannot work together to achieve the democratic principles of justice, fairness and equal opportunities.

    Also, those seniors who are so frightened by Republicans that they oppose a "public option," let me remind you that Medicare is a "public option." Please refuse to accept Medicare if you find it so distasteful!

    November 22, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. Obama the Politician's politician

    When you need to use hundreds of millions of dollars to buy off your own party members to even allow the bill to be debated, doesn't it occur to you that the bill itself is a bad idea?

    Politically important for Obama, yes. Correct for America? No way!

    November 22, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Sandra Scarlett

    It is IMPERATIVE that there be no compromise on the public option portion of this bill, as no reform can be possible without the intrusion of the insurance companies, the very industry that has shown they cannot , and should not, be trusted with the power to make decisions that affect people's lives. No company who works for their shareholders should be in the business of deciding who lives and who dies. The Democrats should focus their common sense and conscience on only one thing: The USA is the only industrialized country where a person can lose one's home, savings, dignity, and many times, their very life, because they cannot afford an outrageously-priced health care system. Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights and other programs that enhance Americans' standard of living were all hard-won battles; this is the Democrats' chance to unite and push this legislation through because IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

    November 22, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. lady of the lake

    This is what Democracy is, and should be, about: debate, discussion and sometimes compromise. This basic tenant of Democracy is what the GOP tried to thwart .... now bring this bill to the floor and hammer it into something better. Two heads are better than one ... even if the republicans are just cabbage heads....

    November 22, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. jrzshor

    could i drop my employer health care that costs me $2000 and go with the free govt option; and get the same benefits. like getting to see my dr six to eight months in the future 'cause that is his first available appt?

    will i be forced to keep the expensive package and pay a surcharge 'cause I work?

    will low econ folks get the same health benefits that i now pay for? if so, why would i pay?

    November 22, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    Just keep caving into the Neo-Cons, and real Democrats will never vote for you again Mr. Durbin.

    November 22, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    The circus of the Democrats debating Healthcare in the Senate can only be surpassed by the Terrorists trial coming to NYC while the eyes of the world are upon us. Most intelligent people already know their desire is for political gains and to air the inner-workings of our CIA and foibles of the Bush Administration. This decision by BHO and Eric Holder is despicable just as the healthcare vote was last night when Democrats voted against the majority of the American people!

    November 22, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. bob in LA

    It's the job of all politicians to be open to comprimise.
    Something we have not seen or heard in 8 years

    November 22, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. Have A Heart

    Here's an idea of health care reform.

    Next time someone needs a heart transplant, just go rip out the heart of one of these sleeze bag Democrats.

    Since none of them seem to know their ass from their elbow, they'll never know it's gone.

    .

    November 22, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  15. The people of faith believe God made all creation, seen and unseen. We believe God chose to walk the earth as one of us named Jesus 'Jehovah, the Lord is Salvation' absorbed the Holy Sprit became the Christ, The Annointed ONe to tell of God's love and to

    I"m going to take a leap and share a personal true story. I am a Republican...and I DO support health care (though not fed dollars paying for abortions)....This past week my 30 yr old niece died...she died strickly from the lack of health care...No ifs or butts about it....
    Her heart failed from heart disease..despite the medical community knowing she had a heart defect at birth...NOT ONE medical provider of her past care followed up on her..NOT ONE practice took the time to be her advocate for insurance..once without insurance she was disregarded as though she no longer existed. I am MAD..this should NOT HAPPEN IN AMERICA for anyone because of money. Get the darn bill passed, and do it right!

    November 22, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. ib

    Why can't they just change enough of it to help the poor people without gov. taking over complete controll of our health care and then on top of that cutting medicare???? I despise the thoughts of the gov. taking over our health care. They will ruin it like everything else they take controll of.

    November 22, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. Charlie Brown

    No! No altering!

    Republicans NEVER compromise

    November 22, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  18. Jim

    "Senate Democrats barely won a vote Saturday night to open debate on the 2,074-page bill."

    60 votes is NOT barely winning the vote; its barely the SUPERMAJORITY required to block filibuster.

    November 22, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. guy from NM

    Bending over backward for the insurance companies and the republicans. Shame on them. Time for me to reconsider if I ever will participate in the rotten system by voting again.

    November 22, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. democrackpipe

    The Democrackpipes WILL NOT modify the bill and it will be defeated.

    November 22, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  21. gary

    Why must you slant all stories in a negative light. This bill did not squeek through, it passed with over 60% of the vote. That sounds like a landslide to me.

    November 22, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. Bob in Pa

    Alter it !? – Just kill it ! We don't want it. Anything that is so big and obtrusive needs to be flushed.

    November 22, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  23. Sean

    Compromise is fine if it's based on constructive facts. But when Republicans claim that health care reform is "an unnecessary takeover of the health care system", or use this as an opportunity to try to undo Roe vs Wade, or claim that the legislation calls for "death panels", we're no longer talking about compromise. We're talking about lies, self-serving catering to special interests, and putting the needs of the country dead last. Get your s#!t together Washington!

    November 22, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. AstroTurf This

    Never in my life time did I think I would see my government forcing a socialist program on the American people that the majority of American people are against. We elect our representatives to represent us, not do what "they" think they should do for their PARTY. If the Democrats force this program on the American people there will be a rejection of liberals at the voting booth unlike anything this country has seen. Jimmy Carter's ouster will look like a party. They will pay the price and so will the liberal media. Americans are waking up to what has really happened with the election of this far-left president.

    November 22, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. LacrosseDad

    follow the money..you will find 'dirty harry' the unions and acorn.

    November 22, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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