Health Care

Will the Bill Survive?

As senators gather for a late-night cloture vote on the health-care reform bill Monday morning, lawmakers are already concerned about the gap between the Senate bill and the one the House drafted earlier. Sen. Ben Nelson, who recently agreed to sign onto the bill, has said that he would not vote for a bill with a public option or taxes for richer Americans, both parts of the former House bill that many liberals are attached to. “This can’t be the final version of the bill,” Howard Dean said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday. “It simply sets us on a track in this country which is expensive and where we’re going to have lots more political fights.” The abortion language in the bill has already angered lawmakers on both sides of the issue, with Rep. Stupak threatening to vote against the bill. On the other hand, if House liberals defect from the more conservative bill, moderates attracted by the absence of the public option might replace them as "yes" votes.