(AP) The Senate pushed toward the first votes on health care reform today amid rancorous debate over whether the legislation would repair the nation’s safety net or bankrupt the country.
Despite the partisan back-and-forth the first amendment offered was bipartisan, a measure to increase preventive care for women. It was co-sponsored by Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski and Maine Republican Olympia Snowe. Snowe was the only Senate Republican to vote in favor of the Democrats health care legislation in committee.
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain offered the first GOP amendment, to strip out more than 400 billion dollars in Medicare cuts to home health providers, hospitals, hospices and others. It is a pitch to seniors, who polls show have deep concerns about the legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell endorsed the amendment in a Senate floor speech.
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