WASHINGTON – Tonight the Senate voted to begin debate on their heath care bill by a vote of 60 to 39.
Sen. Tom Caper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response:
“This bill, created by the merger of two Senate bills, deserves to be debated by the full Senate when we reconvene following Thanksgiving weekend.
“Is it perfect? No. Can we make it better? Yes we can, and we’re sure going to try.
“It is my hope that the full Senate will pass an even better bill by Christmas than the one we’ll be starting with now.
“Among my priorities will be to ensure that the overall cost of the bill is under the $900 billion cap over 10 years that the President has set, and that it is fully paid for. The bill we pass should reduce—not increase—budget deficits over both the next 10 years and the 10 years beyond that.
“In addition, the final bill should reign in the growth of health care costs so that the coverage we plan to extend to those presently without it can be sustained. I expect to join a number of my colleagues in offering amendments on the floor with that goal in mind.
“Finally, if there aren’t 60 votes to report a bill out of the Senate next month, I’ll be prepared—if needed—to work with my colleagues to find compromises necessary to garner 60 votes and take us one step closer to reforming our nation’s health care system.”