Hoyer: House will pass healthcare reform bill

WASHINGTON Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:05am EDT

A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

A patient waits in the hallway for a room to open up in the emergency room at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, Texas, July 27, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Democratic leader Steny Hoyer said on Friday that Democrats would have the support necessary to pass the healthcare reform bill in a vote expected on Sunday.

"We're going to have the votes," Hoyer told reporters after a morning meeting with House Democrats.

Jim Clyburn, the main Democratic vote-counter in the House, said, "I feel very sure that we will vote sometime after 2 (p.m. EDT/1800 GMT) on Sunday and the bill will pass."

Their comments came as Democratic leaders scrambled to cobble together the 216 votes needed to pass the massive overhaul of the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

Congressional budget analysts said on Thursday the proposed overhaul would cut the U.S. deficit over 10 years and sharply expand insurance coverage, boosting the momentum for final passage in the House.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would expand healthcare coverage to 32 million Americans at a cost of $940 billion over 10 years. It would cut the deficit by $138 billion in the same period through new fees, taxes and cost-saving measures, the CBO said.

President Barack Obama postponed a scheduled visit to Indonesia and Australia to help round up support for his top legislative priority and was scheduled to speak on healthcare reform in Virginia on Friday.

(Reporting by John Whitesides and Donna Smith, editing by Stacey Joyce)

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Comments (9)
God willing this foundational step to begining to address one of the greatest threats to American civil society will be addressed through passage of this bill. The obligation of a government to ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens is a core obligation of any civilized system of government. It cannot fail to be clear to any reasonable person that allowing portions of this critical role to be performed by narrow free market interests has placed the nation severely at risk. It is a fundamental misreading of the articles of the constitution to propose that the right to individual freedoms can be pursued at the expense of the common good. While we all have responsibility for maintaining our health, a system that only apportions health care to the fortunate in inhumane and undermines the strength of the nation. Passage of this bill will be a triumph for the interests of the whole nation, over those ignited by narrow and selfish self-interest.

Mar 19, 2010 11:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gramps wrote:
Yes – by all means, Hoyer -continue the heist. If this bill passes, it’ll help us totally change the makeup of both houses of congress in November. Go for it, Hoyer. Thanks.

Mar 19, 2010 11:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
RealAmerican1 wrote:
“The obligation of a government to ensure the health and wellbeing of its citizens is a core obligation of any civilized system of government.”
Where does the insanity end with you people. What’s next, the government will also you a roof over your head, a job for life whether you’re qualified or not. This country was built by people who wanted limited government and created a Constitution that said as much. Now it’s being run by people who think the Constitution is a joke. The words “For the people by the people” have been subverted to mean, government will take care of the people whether they like it or not. The health care debacle is only the tip of the iceberg called Big Government. If you think this is big just wait until it passes and Big Government starts dictating other things in your life. Oh I forgot, that’s what you guys want isn’t it, silly me.

Mar 19, 2010 12:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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