Over GOP Objections, Senate Votes To Open Debate On Healthcare Bill

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Over GOP objections, Senate votes to open debate on healthcare bill The Senate voted along party lines 60-39 to open debate on the Senate healthcare reform bill, but after scoring that victory the Democrats are admitting they will have to compromise in order to gather enough votes to pass the legislation.

In addition to most Republicans—such as Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas who called the measure "a disaster" for the nation—independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut stated his opposition to the current version, telling NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that he will join a Republican filibuster if the bill includes a publically run insurance option which he called "radical."

Among those Democrats who have entered the debate phase emphasizing the need for a realistic and practical approach is Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat in the upper chamber. He said he was open to changing the government-run health insurance option provision that is widely favored by the left, if it means the bill will have a greater chance of passing.

Democrats also admitted that some conservative members of their party have expressed misgivings about the bill’s potentially burdensome fiscal provisions, including the plan to tax those earning more than $200,000 a year as well as insurers providing expensive health plans.

The Senate is expected to begin debate after the Thanksgiving break.
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