Democrats planning early morning health care vote

Democrats are pushing forward with a health care bill and are expected to push for a test vote at 1 a.m. Monday.

The legislation, which would be fully implemented in 2014, is expected to cost $2.4 trillion over a decade, according to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. The Associated Press reported that Democrats need 60 votes three times to move the bill forward.

“Democrats cannot hide the fact that when you’re raising the type of revenues in this bill, that money is ultimately going to be paid by the consumer. Any time government raises taxes it raises the cost of living for the American people,” Isakson said in a news release. “It’s a ruse and a masking of the actual fiscal effect on the United States of America. This has not been a thoughtful process, and it is an unfortunate way to do business.”

Isakson contends the legislation would force billions of dollars in “unfunded mandates” to fund an expansion of Medicaid in Georgia and other states. However, the Republican senator from Georgia said, taxpayers are on the hook for covering the cost of new Medicaid beneficiaries in Nebraska – a provision Democrats added to gain the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

Republicans sought to extend the provision to all 50 states, but the measure failed.

“In a time of declining revenues and greater pressure, that is a recipe for disaster,” Isakson said in advance of the vote. “It’s not fair to say we’re covering more people if we are bankrupting our states.”

Democrats say the legislation will provide coverage to an additional 30 million people nationwide. The AP reported a CBO estimate shows the bill “would reduce deficits by about $132 billion over a decade, and possibly much more in the 10 years that follow.”

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