WASHINGTON — Americans can't take weekends off from worrying about health care and the Senate shouldn't either, Majority Leader Harry Reid said today as he opened a rare weekend session to debate President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
With Democrats preparing to vote on an amendment targeting tax breaks for insurance executives' pay, Reid lashed out at "greedy health insurance companies" that he said make profits by neglecting consumers' health needs.
Reid, D-Nev., called the weekend session as he races the clock to complete action on the 2,000-page remake of the nation's health care system by Christmas.
With both sides jockeying for political advantage amid raging partisan debate, Democratic senators used their weekend work to cite their commitment to Obama's signature issue.
Reid's office announced that Obama would make a personal pitch Sunday during a visit to the Capitol, when he is expected to speak to Democratic senators during a caucus meeting.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) opened a rare weekend session so lawmakers can debate the health care bill.
Republicans planned Saturday to showcase the bill's cuts to Medicare, seeking to undermine support for the legislation among seniors and others.
An amendment to be offered by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., would eliminate $42 billion in cuts in Medicare payments to home health agencies over the next decade.
It's the third in a series of GOP amendments highlighting the legislation's more than $400 billion in cuts to projected Medicare payments for private insurance companies, hospitals and other providers.
Democrats defeated the first two but the GOP wants them to continue casting politically risky votes.
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