On Health Reform, Forget Bipartisanship
The Senate HELP committee held four weeks of markup hearings on their health care bill. They accepted 160 Republican amendments. They allowed virtually every amendment, every concern of Republicans to a free and open vote. And in the end, the bill split entirely along party lines.
A Senate committee became the first congressional panel to advance healthcare reform legislation this year, marking a significant step toward the achievement of President Obama's foremost domestic initiative.
On a party-line, 13-10 tally, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee voted to move its portion of the upper chamber's healthcare reform legislation to the floor [...]
HELP Committee ranking member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) slammed the bill and the partisan nature of the panel's proceedings. "The bill lays the groundwork for a government takeover of healthcare," Enzi said.