WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate is considering a package of changes to the healthcare overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The package was sought by the House of Representatives in exchange for passing the Senate version of the healthcare reform bill. Senate Democrats hope to pass it intact and send the revisions to Obama for his signature.
But Republicans are planning to force a series of potentially embarrassing votes for Democrats on a number of amendments in a marathon voting session that could take hours if not days.
None of the amendments is expected to pass, but if one is approved, the entire package would have to go back to the House for another vote.
Here are some of the Republican amendments being offered, and the senators who are proposing them:
*Senator Judd Gregg - to block the use of any savings from the Medicare health plan for the elderly to pay for new government spending in the health bill.
*Senator John McCain - to strike some so-called “sweetheart” spending deals from the bill.
*Senator Mike Crapo - to ensure that families earning under $250,000 a year do not get hit with a tax increase.
*Senator Michael Enzi - to delete penalties for employers whose workers receive government subsidies to purchase health insurance.
*Senator John Barrasso - to ensure that premiums will not increase due to the healthcare reform.
*Senator Charles Grassley - would require the president and members of Congress purchase insurance through the exchange.
*Senator Lamar Alexander - a measure requiring a reduction in student loan interest rates.
*Senator George LeMieux - would force members of Congress to receive healthcare coverage through Medicaid.
*Senator Tom Coburn - would bar insurance plans on the exchange from covering erectile dysfunction drugs for child molesters and rapists.
*Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - would allow states to opt out of the healthcare reform law.
*Senator Orrin Hatch - would block cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.
*Senator Susan Collins - would waive any employer penalties for new workers hired who had been previously unemployed.
*Senator John Thune - to strike from the bill a new insurance program that would help the elderly and disabled stay in their homes.
*Senator John Cornyn - to drop the 3.8 percent tax on investment income.
*Senator Orrin Hatch - to stop a medical device tax from applying to devices used for veterans’ care.
*Senator Mike Crapo - to stop the medical device tax from applying to cancer diagnosis equipment. (Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by David Alexander and Cynthia Osterman)