We are now entering day three of the Senate debate on health care reform. So far, only one amendment has been offered by the Democrats. It is an amendment from Barbara Mikulski meant to reduce cost sharing for some preventive screening for women. Republican John McCain offered a motion to recommit. It would have sent the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee and told them to rewrite the bill without any cost saving reforms in Medicare.
The “debate” has been going on for roughly 10 hours now. The Republicans are gnashing their teeth about all the terrible “cuts” to Medicare while Democrats are calling them out for their hypocrisy. It is amazing to see Republicans rush to defend Medicare from any “cuts” and profess their new found, undying love for Medicare Advantage, one of the most wasteful corporate giveaways ever. (You get the sense that Jesus brought Medicare Advantage down on a cloud to personally hand it to George Washington.)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have yet to agree to the terms of debate, so there has yet to be a single vote on any amendments. One hopes a deal will be reached by this afternoon, so a vote can take place and the actual process of legislating can take place. The Senate is moving slower than its normal, painfully slow pace. Senate Democrats have set a goal of trying to have a final vote by Christmas, but given how slowly things have started, that seems highly unlikely.