Yesterday the Senate voted on four health care amendments. The fourth was the most important, because disguised as a protection for Medicare, it was McConJob’s attempt to kill the bill outright.
Senate Republicans lost their first major challenge to a Democratic plan to overhaul the health-care system, as the chamber voted Thursday to reject a GOP proposal to strip the package of nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts, its most important source of financing.
On a vote of 58 to 42, the Senate defeated an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would have sent the bill back to committee with orders to remove the spending cuts. The amendment effectively would have forced Democrats back to the drawing board after months of negotiations to craft a measure that would extend coverage to 30 million additional Americans without increasing budget deficits.
The Senate also approved an amendment that would guarantee access to mammograms for women younger than 50, as it cast its first votes on proposed changes to the far-reaching health-care package.
Though debate officially opened Monday, progress has been hampered by disagreements between the two parties over the terms of negotiation and the timing of votes. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) still hopes to hold a vote on final passage before senators adjourn for the holidays, however, and on Thursday he told them to plan on working this weekend…
Inserted from <Washington Post>
Only two Democrats joined the GOP in voting for this fiasco: Ben Nelson (NE) and Jim Webb.
The Mikulski Amendment, guaranteeing a broad range of women’s services with no deductable or co-pay, also passed. Only two Democrats joined the GOP to vote against this measure: Russ Feingold and Ben Nelson (NE).
The Murkowski Amendment, an attempt to fool the public into thinking that the GOP supports breast cancer exams for women, but which actually guaranteed only information, was defeated. Only one Democrat voted for this measure: Ben Nelson (NE).
I certainly hope Nelson has Democratic Party opposition in his next primary.
Although the least controversial, the Bennet Amendment was the most interesting. It proposes that the cuts in Medicare be limited to waste, fraud and abuse and guarantees that there will be no decrease in seniors’ Medicare benefits. It has survived a GOP hold, lengthly GOP debate against it, and a GOP filibuster. It passed 100-0, demonstrating once again that the Repuglicans are misusing the Senate rules to delay reform.
The Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid had better do more than working this weekend. If the delay continues, I fully demand to be able to tune in and watch the Senate voting while I’m eating my Christmas dinner.