The Senate voted 60-39 along party lines to set a timetable for likely passage of the bill early Thursday morning.
Democrats also turned back last-ditch motions from Republicans claiming various provisions in the bill, including a mandate that individuals purchase coverage, are unconstitutional.
"It's long past time we declare health care a right and not a privilege," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said after the vote.
"Today is a victory ... for American families," proclaimed Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana. "Americans won."
The expected victory for President Obama's top domestic priority comes after nearly a year of sharply polarized deliberations on Capitol Hill. Any measure passed by the Senate, however, will still have to be merged with a $1 trillion plan approved by the House of Representatives in November.
"Just admit it, you Republicans are just against middle and low class people being able to get health coverage and live, god forbid."
Is that what this bill does? Because that would be news to me. If the middle and "low class" people can't afford health insurance now, how are they going to afford it when it becomes mandatory?
How about in 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire and the bottom 10% move back to the 15% tax bracket? Will that make things more affordable for them? How are they going to afford their premiums?
Just admit that this bill is a disaster, we tried to tell you, you wouldn't listen and now people will be much worse off because of this bill.
Thanks Reid for raming another bill down our throats.
To bad you will not be here after 2010.
If this bill get passed then all government workers should have to get the same insurance.
Thanks for nothing.
I hope the new elected officals in the next elections will be more interested in jobs and home foreclosers problems than a bill that has been stuffed down there throat with all the back room pay offs and such,I hope my state has gotten its share of the political pay offs
Did the American people really have a choice on this health-care bill? NO! Our representatives on the hill voted along party lines not according to what the American people wanted. For the next 4-5 years will be taxed and monies taken from medicare to pay for a health-care we won't be receiving. God. only knows what will happen in 4-5 years. One thing the American people know the middle class and seniors will be still paying one way or another to insure others. The members on the Hill will still recieve the best health-care.
I do not think our founders expected the filibuster would be used in such a devious and demeaning way. Shame on the Republicans and on Lieberman/Nelson and any others who manipulated the system for their own personal gain.
I must have missed the Filibuster.
Full of soon to be unemployed Senators.