Bill Clinton Sitting in with Senate Dems to Discuss Health Care Overhaul

Former president Bill Clinton decided to sit in with the Senate Democrats as they discuss the proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system and was scheduled to do so Tuesday. His plan was to meet with them during their weekly caucus as they worked on their version of a bill following the approval of a bill in House over the weekend.

Why Clinton?

Some may wonder why Clinton was chosen to participate in the health-care overhaul. It’s largely because in 1994, he tried to enact health-care reform, though his attempt was unsuccessful.

In order for the Democrats to bypass a Republican filibuster and move legislation to a final vote, they need 60 votes. They hope that Clinton will be able to help energize their caucus and effectively push through a successful overhaul.

House’s Overhaul Bill vs. Senate’s

On the other side of Congress, House approved a 10-year overhaul that would aim to cover 36 million Americans. According to the bill, a government-run insurance plan would also be set up. It would be known as the “public option.” While there are some differences between the Senate and House’s bills, many of the goals are similar.

The main battles that Senate is having with its bill comes from the topics of abortion and the public option. The House bill included language that would block the public option from covering abortion. However, Senate is struggling with this issue.

The Senate lawmakers won’t be able to make final decisions on their bill until they receive a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. They hope to receive an estimate by the end of the week.