The Senate will meet this weekend to try to move forward a health care reform bill, which continues to pit South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn and Senator Jim DeMint against each other at opposite ends of the issue.
Demint says, “It’s out of control and we are gonna stay here until Christmas or New Years to do everything we can to stop more spending and to stop more take-over on health care. I’m glad to see Republicans united on this,” says DeMint.
Clyburn, the House Majority Whip says he is hopeful that the Senate will pass a bill before Christmas and that he hopes to participate in the House-Senate conference that will work to come up with a final version of health care reform for the nation’s citizens.
Clyburn says that Democrats were united on this issue in the House, where the bill started. “The thing that insults me in this whole discussion is that the House of Representatives worked very, very hard. We have 258 Democrats. We produced a good product that most people felt comfortable with. We created momentum to get this thing going over in the Senate. Now people are acting as if the Senate is the only game in town,” Clyburn says.
Recently, DeMint has made efforts to require anyone voting for the bill would have to had read the bill. “We’ve tried to pass that resolution, or even offer it as a Senate rule that we have to read bills, and of course we don’t have any takers on that. We’ve had some Democrats say in the last couple of days that they can’t even understand these bills, and that’s a scary thought that the people making the laws don’t even understand what they are doing. They just don’t need to be so big and complex, we just need to do things slower and a little bit at a time,” says DeMint.
The bill that the Senate considers this weekend does not include a public option. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, won out on dropping a provision that would have allowed some Americans as young as 55 to “buy in” to Medicare. The Senate bill also prevents people from buying in when sick and then dropping out of plans when they get better. It also prevents companies from denying people with preexisting conditions.
Clyburn, appearing on CNN Thursday says things may be different in negotiations between the Senate and House in conference committee:
“This thing is going to come to conference and we on the House side are going to fight very hard that we get competition in this system, that w contain costs, that we provide choices, that we get rid of rejections and recisions. We’re going to be fighting for those provisions and I hope we can reach compromise that both bodies can approve.”