The health care reform debate in the Senate may start this week – at least procedurally. Today or tomorrow, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is expected to move to proceed to either the House passed Pelosicare bill or another tax bill (either an AIG Bonus tax bill or the Uniform Services Tax Bill) in order to start the procedure for a full Senate debate on Obamacare. Although the procedural process will start this week, the full debate on Reid’s bill will not commence until after the Senate’s Thanksgiving Day recess.
Today or tomorrow, it is expected that Reid release both the text of his legislation and a score from the Congressional Budget Office finally to other Senators and the American public. Dan Perrin of the HSA Coalition has written about the Reid bill as a hidden “Vapor Bill” and calls it “all hat, no cattle.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said over the weekend on Fox News Sunday that “we know it’s been in Harry Reid’s office for six weeks and the other 99 senators have not seen it.” The bottom line is that Senators will be voting to proceed to a bill on Friday that they have yet to see and will have little time to read before the first critical vote. Sadly, the secretive procedure used to roll out this legislation has severely restricted the rights of Americans to participate in this process.