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Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Yesterday afternoon, the Senate began debating Major Leader Harry Reid’s Health Care restructuring bill known formally as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Two amendments were raised for debate, but not voted on.

The first, offered by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), seeks to reinsert a "Women's Preventive Care" provision that was dropped when Senate leadership merged the health and Finance committees' health bills. The other amendment, offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), was a motion to recommit the bill to the Senate Finance Committee in order to remove the massive Medicare cuts that are made in the bill in order to fund the restructuring effort.

Sen. McCain, in defense of his amendment made the following statement:

“Slashing Medicare by nearly $500 billion, one-half a trillion dollars, to create a new Federal health care entitlement is not health care reform. These reductions include $120 billion to the Medicare Advantage program, $150 billion to providers including hospitals, hospice, and nursing homes, and $23 billion in unspecified decreases to be determined by an ‘Independent Medicare Advisory board.’ Simply put, these Medicare cuts will impact seniors' access to quality care. This is a price that Americans should not be asked to pay.

Votes on amendments are expected this afternoon as debate continues.

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