December 23rd, 2009
04:45 PM ET
9 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. Fred

    They put a law in it that states that a new government cant reverse it, So it is here forever. What a bunch of SOCILIZED CRAP

    December 23, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    i welcome the demise of 'dirty' Harry Reid...well done fool.

    December 23, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Working Americans WIN!
    It's not a big win, Health and Pharma stocks didn't tank, but there MUST be stuff in the bill that will help WORKING Americans... At some point, those who have more than they need to lead a LAVISH lifestyle FOREVER need to consider the concept of "I actually have enough, time to give the little guy a taste."

    December 23, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Mike in MN

    The American peple want reform but not this reform. It won't stand. Voters will vote out the bunch that created this monster and replace them with those who will remove this mess and replace it with reform that the American people want.

    December 23, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Mike in MN

    Democrats will be voted out of power for passing this crap.

    December 23, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. tee

    Its about time.....we are finally headed in the right direction.....with no help from the repugs....I will not forget.......we could tweak this plan later.....the important fact is we the DEMS.....have a plan after 50 years...Great job.

    December 23, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Mike

    My wife works for a health insurance company and her company couldn't be happier! Obama through his own arrogance and lust for anything that he thinks will make him go down in history as anything else than just the 1st and only black president, has threatened, swindled, and bought votes for a bill that forces everyone to buy insurance from companies like my wife's. People who say they can't afford it will be given free money (subsidies) that was forcebly taken from senior citizens Medicare reimbursments. So basically senior citizens get money stolen from them and then it's given to childless able bodied adults who are perfectly able to work and buy health insurance. We are only worried that the voter backlash will be so immense that this bill will be reversed.

    December 23, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. The Film Professor

    A lukewarm victory, but at least 30 million more Americans will have affordable health insurance.

    And Merry Christmas and to hell to the Party of No, who offered absolutely nothing constructive on this issue. It sickens me that the GOP chooses to think that it is politically advantageous to them to just do nothing, and that organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce have done nothing but spread fear and disinformation. Their conduct in 2009 has been totally despicable.

    December 23, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  9. File under "Sarcasm"

    The 'any bill is better than nothing" philosophy and the billions of dollars in "bribes" to buy the 60 Senate votes to pass this abomination will spell the doom of many Democrats next Fall. Watch the polls as the Congress and Obama's favorable ratings continue to plummet after the New Year.

    December 23, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. Bob in upstate New York

    How fortunate for our "Public Servants" that they can choose their own health care and pay raises while we the "unworthy constituents" are forced to abide by the laws they create for us...and pay for it too. The greedy and the illiterates have bowed down to their propaganda slanderers (FUXNEWS).
    The disgruntled republicans have dropped their party and become Teabaggers and the hardcore politicians have once again pleased their contributors. How do you expect our representatives to read a 2000+ page bill when they seek help to read a bubble in a comic page? Satan is smiling.

    December 23, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  11. Debby

    Hello 2010 and skyrocketed taxes.

    December 23, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. ody

    could have been a better bill with some support from repub side. guess they don't believe in compromise.

    thanks for all the hard work and let's keep trying to improve it.

    my insurance is not going to go up – it's free and will stay so.

    December 23, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. joel

    Soon, your health Ins. co. will not be able to find some absurd reason to drop you from coverage, thank the lord. This affects you too small town America who knows nothing about the bill but just gets their thoughts from Rush Limbaugh. This is what you call stickin it to the man.

    December 23, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Albo58

    Today is a total defeat for Americans that have the "audacity" to pay taxes and for their health care because they are going to pay more for less coverage and have the rationing of health care!

    December 23, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  15. Hammerer

    No, AMERICANS are ashamed of the corruption in Washington!

    December 23, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    They didn't stand up for Americans if they did they would have put the public option in the bill.

    December 23, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. ken

    They didn't stand up for Americans if they did they would have put the public option in the bill.

    December 23, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. B

    Just get it done people !

    December 23, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Amoore

    Of course no Repubs voted for the bill. Its not a bill that benefits the rich! I earn in the top 10% of Americans and have no issue with the bill. Why should America, a world leader not have health card for all of its people. Let's go to war, "great" but lets not provide health care to our people.

    Wake up folks, this may not be a perfect bill but none of them are yet its a step in the right direction. And please stop saying its gonna get us more in debt... read the bill and the report from the CBO it reduces the debt. Also remember the President does not make laws so his power only goes so far...

    Finally, if we like the way things are lets keep doing what we have always been doing. If not, stop complaining and get on board with the CHANGE we signed up for.

    December 23, 2009 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Amoore

    Of course no Repubs voted for the bill. Its not a bill that benefits the rich! I earn in the top 10% of Americans and have no issue with the bill. Why should America, a world leader not have health care for all of its people. Let's go to war, "great" but let's not provide health care to our people.

    Wake up folks, this may not be a perfect bill but none of them are yet its a step in the right direction. And please stop saying its gonna get us more in debt... read the bill and the report from the CBO it reduces the debt. Also remember the President does not make laws so his power only goes so far...

    Finally, if we like the way things are lets keep doing what we have always been doing. If not, stop complaining and get on board with the CHANGE we signed up for.

    December 23, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. SG Baker

    Now the left wing loons are happy with their CHANGE and bet they HOPE it works out for the better. Me too. However, I will not have to put up with the new taxes and fees and lies of Obama and his Chicago Style Mafia Thugs he has surrounded himself with. Bill Ayers was a two bit WeatherUnderground with Bernadette, this crew will break kneecaps, legs, fingers and other things like the Banks, Auto Companies, Health Care REFORM (Destruction would better describe it)! And now we will see what happens. I have a car for sale that I will sell for 48 months of payments at 500 bucks a month. Only catch is I am not going to tell you the make, model, condition or mileage and you have to wait until the 49th month to take possession of it. That is what you Socialist Democrats have pushed on the American Public when there is more than 60% of the American public against this bill. Cannot wait for November 2010.

    December 23, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. Scot

    "The Congressional Budget Office predicts the bill will reduce deficits by $130 billion over the next 10 years, an estimate that assumes lawmakers carry through on hundreds of billions of dollars in planned cuts to insurance companies and doctors, hospitals and others who treat Medicare patients". Quote from MSNBC story

    I wonder how many doctors, hoispitals and others will choose not treat Medicare patients. Say good by to seeing a doctor on short notice, rationing of care will likely exist due to a shortage of doctors and hospitals and clinics that may close their doors. The law of unintended consequences!!! Does this reform healthcare for the better? I think not!!!!! I can only wonder what devil is in the details that has to be hurried into a Christmas Eve vote. Time will tell.

    December 23, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Scott, Tucson

    For you seniors who are on Medicare, stand by because you're about to get an obanema when he cuts several billion dollars from your health care.

    December 23, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  24. Ancient Texan

    This is pure garbage and will finish bankrupting the Nation. All to give the far left government a political victory, and control over another 17% of the economy. But, is it even constitutional? Probably not.

    December 23, 2009 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Ancient Texan

    L for Legend- The United States of America needs "the party of no". To put a stop to the out of control spending madness. Whe we don't need is the Socialist redistribution of wealth party wrecking America.

    December 23, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
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