December 23rd, 2009
04:45 PM ET
7 months ago

Senate health bill clears last procedural hurdle


Washington (CNN) - The Senate health care bill cleared a third and final procedural hurdle Wednesday as Democrats successfully limited remaining debate time on the $871 billion measure.

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.

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Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. sensible Cape Coral FL

    It's about time!

    December 23, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. ib

    DISGUSTING!!! Gov. takeover and ration care for senior citizens and you left wingers are rejoicing. Wait until you are a senior citizen and then tell me how great it is.

    December 23, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. rachel

    I am very very sad right now. I wonder how much my taxes will go up.

    December 23, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. joe m

    i suppose we get to watch how the house and senate bill get merged and who gets the best deal in that round. if the final version passes, then the democrats better hope that things actually change quickly and notciably, b/c without republican support, this product with be completely their doing. failure, as the old saying goes, is not an option.

    while i trully want reform, it sitll bothers me that so many backroom deals were made. i find it bothersome that neveda and other states get to financially burden the rest of the country b/c of the deals their senators made.

    this is certainly not the change i expected and hoped for.

    December 23, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. Theresa

    24 million still without insurance. This is a joke not reform.

    December 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. Gerry NH

    Open up your wallets America you asked for it. With np public options it means that you will be forced to buy from the insurance companys. Higher price for insurance companys.

    December 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Sheryl

    OMG!!! All Dems should stay the night!!!! The American People stand with you all the way!!

    December 23, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Jersey Boys

    yyeess!!!!

    December 23, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Bpin

    Yep. Pass it on through. I sure all the liberals will go out and buy some Boone's Farm and celebrate. Of course, I guess they do not understand they will be celebrating exactly what they were so much against. That is right libs. You MUST buy health insurance from those nasty ol PRIVATE INSURANCE FIRMS. Don't worry about it libs, the prices are not that bad at about $800 a month and after all, you have the assurance of your great leadership that the prices are coming down ha ha ha ha. You guys got scamed. But, you need a little bit upstairs to understand that.

    December 23, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Jersey Boys

    WHY IS EVERYTHING NO WITH THE REPUBLICANS,
    DON'T THEY KNOW THAT WE ARE LOOKING AND LISTENING??!!!

    December 23, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. ran

    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.

    what has happen shows a need to change the way business is done in congress now that the Republicans have shown their complete unwillingness to work with the Democrats on this or any other issue.

    People vote for only a true Democrat or an Independent in 2010 and 2012 to tell the republicans we want solutions not fear/hate/obstructionism.

    December 23, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. PhatElvis

    p.s. everyone will be paying higher taxes in the future, not because of this bill. think of the 2 wars and the tax cuts for the rich passed by bush. that was all done through deficit spending. If you are really mad about higher taxes, dont forget to protest the GOP about it.

    December 23, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. Mickey

    It seems the people of these United States have "flipped the bird" to the failed Republican/Conservative movement in this country...

    GOP: Evolve or DIE...

    December 23, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. michaelam

    Although the Bill does not go far enough, )no Public Option or even
    better , Single Payer), it is a start and a start in the right direction. Now, if Congresswoman Pelosi puts her best and toughest people on the House's committee, we may (hopefully) see a Public Option.
    Suggestions: #1 Congressman Alan "Guts" Grayson (Florida)
    #2 Congressman Anthony Weiner (New York)

    Any others?

    Thank you for the greatest step in the 'real' RIGHT direction this country has taken in well over thirty years!

    December 23, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. lila

    This bill is a good foundation but it will need some budgetary measures fish hooked on to it. Businesses will get tax cuts in order to provide health care coverage to their employees. The United Corporations of America would not allow this to pass otherwise. The public option can easily be added with reconciliation later on. It will only needs 51 votes so all the long drawn out drama can be avoided. Social service bills always progress with time.

    December 23, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. PhatElvis

    Ib, what part of MEDICARE AND MEDICAID ARE GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE dont you get??

    do think seniors get health care out of the kindness of doctors and hospitals? seriously, either stay under your rock or come out and get a clue.

    December 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. bella

    We need to keep pushing forward till all uninsured have access to health care. This is a national emergency.

    December 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Just Me

    Glad that this bump in the road has been overcome. The Republicans and some dispacable Democrats have tried their best to kill this bill. Thanksfully, they have failed thus far. These same people who have rallied against this bill will find themselves or their families benefiting from it one day. It may not be a perfect bill, as one can expect no such thing in such a partisan atmosphere, but it's an important start from which additonal adjustment can be made as necessary in the years to come.

    December 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Reggie

    Such a waste of time. We all know the Dems are going to pass this bill even though WE DON"T WANT IT! Just do it and get it over with. Then, watch most of them loose reelection.

    December 23, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. PhatElvis

    Ensign is an embarrassment. read article 1, section 8 of the constitution.

    December 23, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  21. gt

    bogus bill,,, they fwill be popping the champain at the insurance companies tomorrow... pitful... sell out..

    December 23, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. uncle ellsworthey

    @Sheryl

    Sorry Sheryl you are very misinformed if you think the American people want this bill. The majority do not want it and with good reason. We stand ready to vote anyone out of office that votes for it.

    Good luck, you're going to need it when it passes.

    December 23, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. T

    I can't afford the increase in insurance! Put an end to all the pet projects from ALL politicians! Let us fend for ourselves on insurance, it is likely to be cheaper than forced coverage anyhow!

    December 23, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. congratulations

    Congratulations to all the Democrat senators. The job well done. Not the blue Democrats.

    December 23, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Joe

    it is a shame that reepubs do not get it. They are really a bunch of people who are more interested in posturing rather doing serious business. One cannot imagine that they have nothing to offer by way of suggestions or manningful contribution to th whole health care debate. I wonder what they earn their money for?

    December 23, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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