Congress Passes ‘Corrections’ Bill; Sends Legislation to Obama
House and Senate Democrats on Thursday marked the end of their year long effort to overhaul the U.S. health system, passing the so-called "corrections" bill (HR 4872) in both chambers, the Washington Post reports.
The bill, which now goes to President Obama, includes a package of changes to the Senate health reform bill (HR 3590) thatÂ the presidentÂ signed into law on Tuesday (Murray, Washington Post, 3/26).
The House Democratic leadership was forced to hold a revote on the bill, which the chamber already had passed on Sunday, after Senate Republicans on Wednesday discovered two minor problems with the measure that did not comply with parliamentary rules for a budget reconciliation bill (California Healthline, 3/25).
On Thursday, the House voted 220-207 to pass the corrections bill again, The Hill reports. Thirty-two Democrats and 175 Republicans voted against the measure. Earlier on Thursday, the Senate voted 56-43 to pass the bill, which had been revised to address the two parliamentary problems. Three Democrats voted against the bill, which required 51 votes for passage under budget reconciliation rules (Young/Hooper, The Hill, 3/25).
Senate Dems Block All Attempts To Halt Bill
Thursday's votes capped off nearly 21 hours of debate and a marathon session of votes on dozens of Republican-proposed amendments to the corrections bill in the Senate, the Post reports (Washington Post, 3/26).
In total, Democrats blocked 42 GOP-sponsored amendments that were designed to alter the bill, delay the final vote and force them to vote on a series of "politically sensitive amendments," according to Roll Call (Newmyer/Pierce, Roll Call, 3/25).
GOP Reiterates Plan To 'Repeal and Replace'
Senate and House Republicans on Thursday continued to express their opposition to the new health reform law, which failed to draw any GOP support in the series of votes over the previous week, Politico reports.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said, "We're going to be back here fixing the flaws in this very flawed bill," adding, "The American people are asking, where are the jobs, but as we see today, the issue of government-run health will continue to be the focus on this body."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized the corrections bill as "the most unsavory sausage-making, Chicago-style bill I've ever seen," adding that the GOP's plan moving forward is to "repeal and replace" the Democrats' health reform bills (Budoff Brown, Politico, 3/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.