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Health Care Debate Inches Forward

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It took heated town hall meetings, intense deliberation, and presidential intervention for the U.S. Senate to arrive at a last-minute deal on Saturday to simply begin debating a massive, $848 billion health-care-reform bill.

By Sunday, the Senate appeared to be back to square one, notes USA Today, with members citing familiar schisms, including disagreement over the issue of whether the government should provide a publicly funded insurance option to help healthy workers who have no insurance and earn too much to receive welfare coverage.

Both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, Democrats Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, voted to bring the bill to debate (via The Associated Press). There’s been a lot of posturing since then, as CNN points out, including from Bennet, who was appointed last year to fill the seat vacated by Ken Salazar when he became Interior secretary. “If you get to the final point and you are a critical vote for health care reform, and every piece of evidence tells you, if you support that bill, you will lose your job, would you cast the vote and lose your job?” CNN’s John King asked Bennet (via Politico). “Yes,” Bennet answered.

One major sticking point in the bill: Two of the lawmakers who voted to move it forward on Saturday indicated on Sunday that they will not vote to pass the package with a public option (via The Washington Post).

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