Most Republicans oppose the option of a government-sponsored health insurance plan altogether, and have focused their efforts chiefly on targeting Medicare cuts in the Senate bill. Republicans have offered numerous amendments to highlight the fact that the health reform effort would be paid for in large part by assuming future cost savings in Medicare and Medicaid.
On Friday, Democrats, with a vote of 57-41, defeated Republican efforts to restore $120 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage, a private insurance plan within Medicare.
With the exception of Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who sided with Democrats in passing the bill out of the Senate Finance Committee, there are few signs of bipartisanship thus far. Yet Democratic leaders said they are close to achieving their goal of a health care bill.
"We've written a good bill that will make it possible for every single American to afford to stay healthy," Reid said at the start of today's session. "Yet while the American people want us to act, our Republican colleagues in the Senate want nothing more than for us to do nothing."