Reid ‘confident’ Senate will pass health care bill

By Kathy Kiely
November 30, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is “confident” the Senate will pass a health care bill, but it will take extra work on weekends in December to get it done.

“The health care debate is historic. It’s the most important thing any of us here has ever been involved in,” Reid told USA TODAY in an interview Monday.

Reid vowed to keep the Senate in session every weekend in December to finish the bill, saying “we have some things to work through.” Among those issues: a government-run health insurance program favored by President Obama, known as a public option, that could compete with private insurers and whether women on such a program will be allowed to use federal funds on abortion.

The additional time on the Senate floor will be used “to educate Americans” about the bill. The first Democratic amendment: a $1 billion women’s health care program, designed to allay concerns about rationing of mammograms.

“I’m glad it is the first amendment,” he said.

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