December 24th, 2009
09:55 AM ET
6 months ago

Next step: Turn two health care bills into one

(CNN) – The Senate on Thursday passed its version of the health care bill, inching the country closer to the biggest expansion of medical coverage since Medicare was enacted more than four decades ago.

Senate Democrats declared victory after the 60-39 party line vote, but one of the most complicated tasks is still ahead.

A conference committee must reconcile the differences - notably a public option, how to pay for the plan that emerges and coverage for abortion - and merge them into one.

Full story


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Marty, FL

    Good news the health bill passed in the Senate! The legislation can now be reconciled with the House version for improvements. Some suggestions:

    Adopt Sen. Nelson's amendment; Rep. Stupak goes too far into private plans.

    Compromise on the funding. Combine part of the House funding with the Senate version only on Cadillac plans (exclude blue collar workers).

    Extend Sen. Nelson's Medicaid proposal to ALL states. Let it be the compromise for a PUBLIC PLAN for more Americans. It passed today for Nebraska in the Senate (even with the hold-out senators) and could be built upon for the rest of our country.

    Keep up the good work and pass real health reform for the American people!

    Merry Christmas to all!

    December 24, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Democrats make me puke

    unbelieveable that these people are trying to pass legislation that is clear violation of our Constitution.

    December 24, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. unemployed by Obama

    Obama, Our victory will be making you a ONE TERM jerk and now you will have to convince all of us that you are not breaking the constitution, go ahead and fine me, I WILL NOT PAY.ma,

    December 24, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. not alone

    Be nice if they would added that public option back, to keep those insurance companys in check.

    December 24, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. stevegee

    The Socialists may win the battle and pass this healthcare takeover, but the war is far from over!

    This bill is unconstitutional in so many ways, and the states will challenge it in court – and win!

    December 24, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I am an old person who supports health reform. While this is not a perfect bill, if the progressives and moderates would actually work together on this, it could become a better bill. After this passes, it can then become a perfect bill when the rest on the party of "No!" is sent packing in 2010 elections.

    December 24, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. alvinmurphy422

    be careful what you wish for.
    how ar eyou going to explain to citizens that they can't get iunsurance for over 4 years under this plan?

    December 24, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Democracy rules

    If they could turn two bills into none that would be most appreciated by the majority of the American people.

    December 24, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. smokey

    I say Congratulations to Pres Obama and especially to those in the House and Senate who wroked so hard to make this a reality..But lets remember there is much work to be done, and we the American People need to remain steadfast, focused and supportive of those whose work is abotu to began in merging this important piece of legislation..We must remember that the will probably not get everything they want in this bill, but need to remain open to discussion and be willing to compromise for the good of the American People and to remain committed to those millions of Amricans without coverage, as well as those are constantly being ripped off by the insurance companies..But keep focused and fight a good fight !! Keep on keepin on !!

    December 24, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. A GREAT REPUBLICAN

    The next step is to turn two health care bills into none.

    December 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. ender

    Good.

    Its about time we started catching up with the rest of the world as far as healthcare is concerned.

    I just hope all the fear the right has been building in their followers doesn't erupt into violence now that the bill is all but done.

    December 24, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. DH Mid MI

    It is indeed a sad day in American history. Our constitution and entire history is based on the concept of equal opportunity, personal rights and personal responsibilty. The Democrats are intent on assuring equal results, government dependence and government control.

    .

    December 24, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. Mark L.

    GREAT !! So the Healthcare Reform Bill PASSED yet another hurdle !! This is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS NEWS !! However, we've got a lot more work to do !! For one thing – This so-called sweeping healthcare reform legislation does NOT have the government sponsored PUBLIC OPTION !! What Good is It WITHOUT A PUBLIC OPTION !! I only hope and pray now that the House & Senate versions of the Bill have to be merged, that SOMEHOW, SOME WAY Congress sees it fitting to include a PUBLIC OPTION !! Without a government sponsored PUBLIC OPTION, it seems to be more a victory for the 'FAT-CAT' Privatized Insurance Industry than it does the American People !! WAKE UP CONGRESS – WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION TO COMPETE AGAINST THE 'FAT-CATS' IN THE PRIVATE INSURANCE INDUSTRY !! It is NOT UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE COVERAGE WITHOUT THE PUBLIC OPTION !!

    December 24, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    I can FINALLY see "BiPartisan" cooperation on the health care horizon:
    Now that Democrats have gotten past The Party Of NO and passed the bill, they are going to want to "help" with the Reconciliation... By that, I mean gut as much health CARE from the bill as inhumanely possible and add in as much protection and gray area as possible for Big Pharma and Big Insurance.

    I think we should treat Republicans the way FORMER (thank God) President Bush treated France (and the other countries that wouldn't sign onto the invasion and occupation of Iraq) – Don't let them have ANY of the "spoils of war" because they didn't help to win it.

    Now that the deed is done and Democrats will get ALL OF THE BLAME for any/EVERY little thing that is not good (bad) about the bill, let Democrats keep control and find resolution WITHOUT the obstructionist Party Of NO.

    December 24, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Gary

    This will bust our budget.....why didn't they include any malpractice reform. Pelosi and Reid and the Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    December 24, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Xavier

    We are almost there.

    December 24, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. charlie in Maine

    The people 21
    Nattering Naybobs of Negativism 7

    But it's only the start of the fourth quarter.

    December 24, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. southerncousin

    More back room deals that screw the American tax payer will be made in the conference committee to ensure that the non working, non taxpaying, dope addicted Oprah watchers will not have to get off the couch and can continue to vote for Obama. Disgusting trash ruining this country. Will Charlie Rangel be on the conference committee? A guy who doesn't pay his taxes and lives off the hard working American taxpayer, taxing Americans even more. That is liberalism at its best. Lying, cheating, crooked.

    December 24, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. joe

    What a lump of coal the Democrats have placed in the stocking of America today! This Health Care disaster, raise the debt ceiling to 12.4T, and then leave for Christmas. They have just thrown gasoline on the tea parties, their day of reckoning will be in November 2010. It will be a painful year living in the liberal tyranny our country has become. But the independents have wised up with Bush long gone. It's time to take our country back from this current regime.

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

    December 24, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Bill or Vin from Philly

    No public option + no medicare buy in + no anti trust for the Insurance Co. = no Democrat

    December 24, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. E.F. La Grua

    I'm very proud of the Senate for passing this bill and sorry that so many republicans have tried to prevent it from coming to pass. It makes me feel very negatively towards the republican party. It seems that they are only for the rich and have little concern for the ordinary people who will benefit from improved access to health care. The lies coming from their spokespersons (like the US Chamber of Commerce) have been appalling. I am not sure I can ever trust any of them again.

    December 24, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. jacq

    Support it or not the republicans look more like the party of no solutions,no ideas on how to shape polices,they've earn the title of do nothing party.It seems to me all they manage to do is cry.I think they need some cheese with that whine.This is a big defeat for them and they know it.

    December 24, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Abe

    This is the greatest Christmas gift for millions of Americans who will have a health coverage. I think the Republicans need to start thinking this is not a need , it is a must. That is to stay healthy, have medical coverage and most of all enjoy the same rights as citizens of this great country. I just hope the Republicans will not make this a referendum for 2010 elections and a reason to attack the Democrats. Republicans claim they are fiscal conservatives and less government, so what is more important ,the health of the citizens of this country or for there own personal gains. We are so used to label the Democrats as spenders, big government but at least they delivered the biggest legislation since Social Security. We should go back to what the forefathers promised when they were elected to work for the people that elected them into office and not protect big corporations that rip off the average person or persons. Merry Christmas, good Health and prosperity.

    December 24, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. Kevin in MA

    Since only a simple majority is needed to pass the resulting bill, this might work out better for everyone. Perhaps the Medicare buy in for 55 – 64 year old (at full price) would add needed revenue to the system and bring in healthy people that put a lot less demand on the system. It will certainly be a chance to get rid of the egregious perks that got into the Senate version (Nelson, et al) and hold down the inevitable tax increases.

    December 24, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Reggie

    and screw the American people twice as hard.

    SHAME ON US FOR ELECTING THIS BUNCH.

    December 24, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
1 2