The Senate commenced debate today on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) version of Obamacare and nobody knows if the bill will pass. Politico reports that there are four key Senators to this debate: Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT). The real debate will be in the Democrat Cloakroom where Leader Reid will attempt to garner the support of these four key Senators.
Reports indicate that there will be an amendment process that alternates between Republicans and Democrats. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) offered the first amendment to the ReidCare bill that “guarantees women access to life saving preventative services and screening.” Republicans will be offering an amendment later this evening. This process is expected to continue until Christmas time with a long and drawn out amendment and debate process.
One debate that flared today concerned a new report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) put together at the request of Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) that concluded premiums in the individuals market would be 10 to 13% higher in 2016 under ReidCare. Average premiums would increase by a staggering $2,100 for a family policy. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said about the CBO report, “at the beginning of the health care debate, we were told that this trillion-dollar experiment would lower premiums for American families. And yet just this morning, this very morning, the independent Congressional Budget Office provided an analysis showing that the Democrat bill will actually increase premiums for American families. So a bill that’s being sold as a way to reduce costs actually drives them up.”