Region’s senators explain health care votes

    All six senators in the tri-state region voted in favor of the health care overhaul bill that passed the Senate early this morning in a straight party-line vote.

    All six senators in the tri-state region voted in favor of the health care overhaul bill that passed the Senate early this morning in a straight party-line vote.

    Pennsylvania Democrat Arlen Specter says the final bill is not exactly what he wanted, since it lacks the so-called “public option” health plan.

    But with no Republicans voting for the measure, Specter says compromises had to be made to ensure the 60 votes needed to pass any significant overhaul.

    Specter: It takes a lot of accommodations, but that’s the way politics is supposed to work. You’re supposed to listen, and try to work it out and not be ironclad and stone-walled and iron-headed and pig-headed and say you’ve got the only way and your party is the only party.

    Specter says the reform bill will require insurance companies to spend 85-cents of every dollar of revenue on medical care. He says that will restrain “excess profits”.

    Delaware Senator Tom Carper says his greatest disappointment was that the bill didn’t get support from any republican senators.

    Carper: The Republicans were under so much pressure from within their own party, from within their own caucus not to be a part of this, and it would have been a better bill I think in the end if they had been enabled to, and encouraged to participate with Democrats.

    As the Senate and House version of the bills head to conference committee, Carper predicts the final bill will look more like what the Senate approved.

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