November 19th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
12 years ago

Senate to vote Saturday on opening debate on health care bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/19/reidunveilsbill.jpg caption="Senate to vote Saturday on opening debate on health care bill '"] Washington (CNN)– The Senate will vote Saturday on opening debate on the sweeping health care bill introduced by Democrats, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

At a celebratory news conference the day after unveiling the 2,074-page bill, Reid and other leading Senate Democrats touted it as long overdue reform that will provide health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans while reducing the federal deficit.

Republicans have vowed to try to block the bill, requiring Reid to round up 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome a GOP filibuster and launch debate.

The Democratic caucus is composed of 58 Democratic senators and two independents. However, some conservative and moderate Democrats have expressed concern with provisions in the health care bill.

Asked Thursday if he had the votes to launch debate, Reid said: "We'll find out."


Filed under: Harry Reid • Health care • Senate
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Git er done!

    Go for it Dems! If you can't do it with 60, work around the rules so that you only need a majority. That's what the GOPs would do if the positions were reversed. Enough of the nicey-nice - let's get some hardball politics going. The majority of the public wants this - only the Senate is blocking the way. And when it's done strip Lieberman of his committee chairmanships - that insurance-industry zombie doesn't deserve them.

    November 19, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. phoenix86

    The government is now investigating how the Obama adminstration sent porkulus money to non-existent congressional districts.

    And they want to run healthcare?

    Incompetence + arrogance = decay

    November 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. LacrosseDad

    BE AFRAID AMERICA if this welfare for unions bill passes.

    November 19, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. terry,va

    Reid is an idiot!!! He will be voted out of office in 2010.!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  5. al in memphis

    If Dems want to get this bill pass, just add a tax cut for the rich or forture 500 companies. Eliminate taxes on insurance company's profit and you will unaminous support.

    November 19, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Lynne - Seattle

    They have concerns...isn't that what the debate part of the approval process is designed to deal with????? Isn't debate and discussion a good thing????? I just don't get politicians...from either party!

    November 19, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. D.

    Debate over bill the American people cannot understand, and spending that cannot be written. Is this what we are getting?

    November 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Justin

    I'm not paying a bunch of senators with my tax dollars to sit around doing nothing all day! What a waste! Modern filibusters are even more ridiculous than old fashioned ones and they are used entirely too often. At least they should read the phone book or make long-winded speeches.

    Regardless, it frustrates me when the minority blocks debate.It's as if to say, "We are afraid of this and the American people don't deserve to hear us debate it." If you're going to obstruct a bill, obstruct the final vote and DO SOME WORK by debating the bill. If I sat around doing nothing all day, I'd be out of work the next!

    November 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Obama 2.0

    As an Independent I will be watching for those (obstructionist) that block the debate vote. The Americans want this to ove forward, good, bad or indiferent, get the ball rolling.

    November 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    2074 pages of new government agencies and committees created to inject more government into our health care. Plus tons of govenment, regulations and mandates on business, individuals and insurance companies. We all know from the experience of history that it is not possible for congress, wether the Senate or the House to write a bill this massive without it winding up being a disaster.
    You should be able to write a bill of about 200 to 300 pages to cover those who are not covered and can't afford insurance and to create needed consumer protections for those who are covered so that they can not be denied future coverage. And throw in some measures to bring down costs like tort reform, allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines and and allow those not coverd by work to deduct treat their insurance premiums as a tax deduction, just like those who are coved by employer based insurance.
    It could be simple, but Obama and the Democrats want to take over health care and dictate coverage to us and business and the insurance companies. So intead of getting a straight forward fix, we get a disaster.

    November 19, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Speaking for Liberals

    Healthcare is a right and not a privelege.
    The greatest country on Earth should provide its citizens with free high quality healthcare.
    We are the only industrialized nation that does not have national healthcare.
    The current 'healthcare system' is breaking and killing people.
    The only people fighting againt this are republicans and people who believe the lies from Big pharma and the healthinsurance lobby. They only want to protect their profit margins. they don't care about people.
    Even Jesus healed the sick. Does anybody want to be more like Jesus? I DO!
    Obama and the Dems won with healthcare on the agenda.
    We have medicare for the elderly, why not for everybody else?
    If the reason you are against this is because you are afraid, you are being irrational and ignorant. Either that or you are a hypocrit

    November 19, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Sean from Marin

    And if the Democrats in the Senate cannot find the votes they need to move to reconciliation as soon as humanly possible. If Health Care blows up so will the public's confience that Democrats can be in leadership positions. LEAD, for god's sake, be the minority party again. Stop looking at polls. Stop watching Fox Snooze. Do the job you were elected to do and get us health care.

    Then focus all of 2010 on jobs and eveyone will get elected again. Promise.

    November 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Sean from Marin

    And if the Democrats in the Senate cannot find the votes they need to move to reconciliation as soon as humanly possible. If Health Care blows up so will the public's confience that Democrats can be in leadership positions. LEAD, for god's sake, or be the minority party again. Stop looking at polls. Stop watching Fox Snooze. Do the job you were elected to do and get us health care.

    Then focus all of 2010 on jobs and eveyone will get elected again. Promise.

    November 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. m jeff

    The Republicans are going to try to block everything Obama tries to accomplish, so what's new. America needs Healthcare reform.

    November 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Marion/Alabama

    Reduce the deficit by adding a health care bill.You must be kidding?We need to stop the Tax,spend and borrowing,before we add any more costly bills,which we do not have the money to pay for.Never has a government run program came in at or below cost figures,so you can bet this health care will be 2 trillion before its done...Why is the Senate bill over 2000 pages? I had hopes it would be about half of the house bill.At 2000 pages you can bet it has too much,government control and too many Taxes.

    November 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Tayo, NY

    Only time will tell!

    Indeed!!

    November 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. NC

    Just Get It Done.

    November 19, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. T'SAH from Virginia

    "Republicans have vowed to try to block the bill..."

    You see – there they go again – they 'constantly' try to STOP the bill they have NO INTENTIONS of participating in if it were 100% RIGHT!!

    A billionaire could come and say they will donate money towards the bill and the REPUBLICAN'Ts will still find something to say! Every thing they ask for could be in the bill and the Party of NO will still say NO!!!

    NO Sense, NO suggestions, NO Brains!!! The Party of NO, NO, NO!

    MOVE ON and leave them behind………. Pass this bill this year or BUST!!

    November 19, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. John D.

    This bill just keeps getting bigger and bigger. These people are out of their minds. With the interest on our debt alone at 4.5 trillion, these imbiciles want to sink us further in debt. I wonder who got to the CBO to get them to lie for the Democrats. That's gotta be why the way left wingnuts do not want the people to see the bill before they vote on it.

    November 19, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    2000+ pages of crap.

    If you can't make a common sense bill that is easer to read and understand, then don't bother.

    REID, You better vote for more unemployment coverage since that is where you will be in 2010. Can't wait.

    November 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Senators...keep is simple, stupids! Make the cost more consumer friendly and you guys have to be in the same plan. No mess, no fuss...all one big happy plan. Just let your local insurance companies administer it on lower overhead and no big buck CEOs and other execs.

    November 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Kim

    The Republicans should face another election just like the last one so that they fall in line with a job that we asked them to do.

    If they were on any "normal" payroll they would be fired!

    I didn't see them reform healthcare when they had a Republican President and I see dereliction of duty now.

    November 19, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. databaser

    The US Senate has not missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity since 1860 (except when Lyndon Johnson was there to bust noses). I have no doubt that they will continue their ancient tradition of not rising to the challenge. We can thank the southern states (including my own dear state of Texas) for this. They continue to elect not-too-bright elderly white men who are in the pockets of corporate interests. Their gullible constituents continue to vote contrary to their own interests because they believe the Conservative rhetoric.

    I must also mention that plenty of Democrat Senators are much more interested in their own careers than in the future of our republic.

    November 19, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Will in Carson City

    2,074 pages???? And it's less expensive than the House version????? I can hardly wait to see the combined version, assuming the Senate can approve it's own bill.

    November 19, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. terry,va

    The bill will not get out of the Senate. The bill has many faults. It is not deficit neutral, it covers abortion, etc. When are we going to get someone to tell us the truth?

    November 19, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
1 2