November 17th, 2009
04:53 PM ET
13 years ago

Waiting game continues for Senate health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the cost of the bill."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate's top Democrat declined Tuesday to say when he would introduce a hotly anticipated health care reform bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said he was still waiting for a cost estimate of the legislation from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

"We're going to be hearing from CBO very soon," he promised during a Capitol Hill news conference.

Reid accused Republicans, who have promised a filibuster, of trying to dodge a full Senate debate and rob "the American people of a historic opportunity."

Sixty votes in the 100-member Senate are required to overcome a filibuster and open Senate debate on the bill.

GOP leaders, meanwhile, expressed fears that the Democrats would try to spring the measure on the Senate with little advance warning to deny Republicans a chance to adequately review it before starting debate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he expects a vote to open debate on the measure would come Friday. He pledged Republicans would continue to strongly oppose a bill that they say will result in tax and premium increases while doing little to rein in spiraling medical costs.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Mitch McConnell
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Charlie

    To anyone who thinks health care could possibly save money did you not just see that the USPS run by the government just posted a $3.8 billion loss in the 2009 fiscal year. Guess who gets to pick up the slack for that; thats right the American Taxpayer. If the government can't run the mail service correctly how can they possibly run health care efficiently at all?

    November 17, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. tarheel

    President Obama needs to act more forcefully on the Health Care debate. A country as wealthy as ours should be able to provide free medical care for everyone. If Obama can make this happen and also get amnesty for the current undocumented workers in this country, the Democratic Party would have the rapidly growing and powerful Hispanic and African American vote locked up for decades to come. Heck, He might even siphon off some of the poor white Republican votes. Now if he throws in extended Unemployment benefits until the Unemployment figures dip below 4-5%, then His loyal base will consider him almost a God. How can the Republicans compete with free money and all their silly talk about responsibility and how working peoples taxes are going to go sky high. These thinks are meaningless to Obama's core group of supporters.

    November 17, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Kent

    I'm soooooooo sick of Republicans. They have become worthless to the American people.

    November 17, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Brian from NJ

    One more time, for all the deaf liberals, especially "Speaking for Liberals", in this country!

    The Democrats have a filibuster proof majority in the Senate... the bill is not being held up or watered down by the GOP... it is your own party doing this... what a bunch of whiny babies Democrats are, led by the Reid. They cannot accept the fact that there are those within your own party that do not want this legislation... so they sit there like a bunch of two year olds pointing fingers at others

    November 17, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Roy

    Stop..... taking..... my...... money..... and...... giving.... it..... to.... lazy.... people.

    November 17, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Jackie

    The new mammogram guidelines is just the beginning of rationing under Obamacare. Be very worried!!

    November 17, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. They call me "tater salad"

    Mitch McConnell and the rest of his party of parasites would love nothing more than to stall this out for as long as humanly possible, just so they can say that Obama wasn't able to accomplish anything and try to make themselves somehow relevant again by 2010! Oh and also to allow the Health Insurance Empire and the Big Pharma monopoly all the time they need to jack up their prices, rates, and premiums before it all comes to an end! Thats whats really going on here people, so WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I really think the Republican's idea of a healthcare bill would a 3 – 4 sentence bill with their ideas scribbled on a napkin.

    November 17, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  9. Mickey

    If the Democrats have the majority vote to pass this, they should vote NOW and cram it right down the Republicans' pie are either with us, or against us.

    GOP: Evolve or die

    November 17, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. April in Texas

    As an independant that has put into the system during my adult life, I am praying for health care reform. While I hear those concerned about those that abuse the system and are lazy bums that does not describe our situation. My husband who was working as a temporary employee until he could be converted to a permanent position and did not have benefits was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Now that his disability has kicked in he has lost the medicaid that he qualified for and now has to wait a yr and a half for medicare. Cancer will not wait as it has now spread to his brain and had to have emergency surgery. Sure I could now after being a housewife work if I were to have someone else care for him but that will still not get him coverage now that he has a precondition.

    The system is so flawed and we the american people deserve better and in the long run I think a public option will be best for our country.

    Get it done already as lives depend on it.

    November 17, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. annie against biased news

    So even before government rationed no-health care criminal bill is passed the government death panels is already limiting care.

    November 17, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Jenn, Philadelphia

    What's Harry afraid of? This Administration says it will pay for itself by cutting fraud from Medicare, but they can't even stop fraud in the stimulus money. If any one wants to know what that's about you have to go to ABC or FOX to find out. CNN isn't reporting about how millions of dollars of stimulus money has been sent to non-existing districts throughout the country. Check the government's own website. Money given to Arizona's 15th Congressional District to help create jobs. The problem of course is that Arizona only has 8 districts. Interesting that there's no word from the White House about that.

    November 17, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. m jeff

    The GOP does not want reform at any cost, they only care about making themselves and their Insurance partners richer.

    November 17, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Jeremy

    Why doesn't this administration stop focusing on useless bills and $1.1 trillion monstrous bills and focus on the one thing needing attention: the economy? Is it that they want this country to collapse? They need to fix the issues at hand and stop spending money like water. I think that once they fix the economy, they can proceed with health care reform. They need to focus on a cheaper bill that stresses tort reform rather than a total and expensive reconstruction of the system. If they pass this bill, it will add greatly to the national debt, which will be passed to our children and grandchildren. Liberals do not seem to care about this: they care about cramming this down our throats and attacking the prior administration. Passing a bill as large as this without reading it then criticizing those who tell them to read it? It seems like a ongoing nightmare to me. 2010 cannot come soon enough so we can get these clowns out of power.

    November 17, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  15. FH

    You never know what is up the sleeve. Elections have consequences, unfortunately the Republican's don't like the consequences. Maybe if Republican Bush and his Republican hadn't taken the country down rat hole they wouldn't have to live with the consequences of the election.

    November 17, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. Jeremy

    Also, people need to actually look at neutral polls instead of CNN or liberal-run polls. The truth is that the majority of Americans do not want a government-run healthcare plan. The government cannot run anything: does the post office, medicare/medicaid, or Social Security ring a bell here? How can we be sure that they won't screw up health care? I could not even trust the government to handle one dollar; how can I trust them to handle 1.1 trillion of them. I am surprised that people still trust the government here. Oh, wait: most that do are Obama kool-aid drinkers that still get a chill up their leg every time their "messiah" speaks. People need to get their heads out of their butts and realize what is going on here. If not, we may have a long and very bumpy road ahead. This is from someone who hated what Bush and the Republicans did to this country as well, so I am not a paid blogger. I wish I was so I would not have to hang on to every bit of "change" I have left.

    November 17, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. mjm

    "Reid accused Republicans, who have promised a filibuster, of trying to dodge a full Senate debate and rob "the American people of a historic opportunity."

    Most sane people would read that and say "huh?"

    Reid is hiding the bill, not letting anyone see, not giving people any time to read it....and he says the Republicans are trying to dodge a full Senate debate.

    How bad to you think it's going to be?

    Oh, and howie and Steve Martin... GREAT POSTS.

    November 17, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Ken Williams

    You can blame the Republicans all you want, but bipartisanship isn't saying this is what we want! We aren't listening to your ideas! Now vote for our bill or we will Demonize you. There's nothing wrong with debate on the bill. Don't just be a sheep research what's in the House Bill

    November 17, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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