Sunday, January 23, 2011

Obama health care bill now faces repeal bid in Senate

It sounds like President Obama is going to have to defend his health care bill before the Senate as well.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said today that he and fellow Republicans will push for a health care repeal vote, even though their chances of success are very slim in the Democratic-run chamber.

"I'm not going to discuss how we'll do it from a parliamentary point of view here," McConnell said on Fox News Sunday, but he added that "I assure you we'll have a vote on repeal."

The House, which is controlled by Republicans, voted for repeal last week.

McConnell said he expects the effort to fall short in the Democratic Senate. If so, he said Republicans "intend to go after this health care bill in every way that we can," though, again, he would not elaborate.

"It's the single worst piece of legislation that's been passed in my time in the Senate," McConnell said.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also on Fox News Sunday, said Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to improve the bill, but they support it overall.

Durbin also cited raw political numbers, notably the fact that there are 53 Democratic senators and 47 Republicans; if worse came to worse, 60 senators could vote to block any piece of repeal legislation.

"I think there's a serious question whether Senator McConnell can find four Democrats to join him in repeal," Durbin said. "I certainly don't believe he's going to find anywhere near 60, which is probably going to be the vote required to repeal health care reform."

White House officials said more and more Americans are coming to support the health care bill, especially provisions that prevent insurance companies from refusing coverage to people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions.

"I think they understand that insurance companies are not in charge of making all the decisions anymore," said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, "and I think that's a good thing for our medical system."

No comments:

Post a Comment