Obama defends Democrats-only health bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama defends Democrats-only health bill


















WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama has defended the idea of pushing health care overhaul legislation through Congress with no Republican votes.
     
It was a rare public declaration from the president in support of the controversial procedure that congressional leaders have been mapping out behind closed doors. Democrats no longer control a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate, so if they want to pass comprehensive health legislation, their only option may be to use Senate rules allowing for a simple majority vote.
     
The tactic infuriates Republicans although they used it when they were in control. At Thursday's health care summit, Republican Sen. John McCain denounced it.
     
Obama replied that the public isn't too interested in Senate procedures. But he said, "I think most Americans think that a majority vote makes sense."

Boehner calls Senate bill a 'dangerous experiment'

House Republican leader John Boehner has strong words for the Senate health care bill, calling it a "dangerous experiment" that will bankrupt a country with the world's best health care system.
     
Boehner echoed his GOP colleagues in urging President Barack Obama to scrap the bill and start over. The Ohio Republican criticized elements of the bill when it was his turn at the microphone during Obama's health summit Thursday.
     
Boehner rejected proposed tax increases and said $500 billion in projected Medicare savings should be used to keep the program solvent. He said requiring people to buy health insurance is unwise and possibly unconstitutional, and fining employers that don't provide their workers with health coverage would drive up unemployment.

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