Calling it a tremendous step forward, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., unveiled the Senate health care bill that makes health care more affordable while reducing the federal deficit. According to Reid this bill will cut the deficit by $130 billion, extend coverage to more than 94% of Americans and insure 31 million more of the uninsured. An estimate prepared by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation says Reid's proposal would trim federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs by $491 billion between 2010 and 2019.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was critical of the proposal, calling it an ill-conceived, back-room deal. He pointed out that the bill increases premiums, raises taxes, and slashes Medicare by half a trillion dollars to create a new government program. He says this is not what the American people want.
An advisory e-mail, sent to Democratic staff, states Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is prepared to force the Senate clerk to read Reid's entire proposal word-for-word on the floor. The process is expected to take up to 50 hours and could keep the Senate in session through next Tuesday.