Healthcare Debate Kicks Into High Gear In Senate

11.30.09 | FL News Team

The debate over healthcare reform kicks into high gear in the U.S. Senate this week. After recent House passage of a sweeping health insurance reform bill, Senate Democratic leaders are pushing hard to get it done before Christmas. President Obama recently noted an "urgent need to get to the finish line." Republicans call Democratic health insurance reform legislation a "monstrosity" that will bust budgets, kill jobs and boost healthcare premiums. Democrats accuse Republicans of being full of bluster, while not offering any better ideas.

 When the dust settles, it's unclear whether Senate Democrats can muster the 60 votes necessary to stop Republican filibusters. If they do, it's unclear whether Senate and House negotiators can strike a deal on final legislation. The White House remains optimistic. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs recently said, quote, "This is a goal that people have had for 70 years; we've never been closer than we are now."