Senate Democrats will use parliamentary procedure to keep the best parts of healthcare reform from being overturned by Republicans, a senator from New York recently said.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) explained on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that if the Republicans offer an amendment on the Senate floor to repeal the health reform package, the Democrats will force them to vote on the most popular benefits found in the bill.
“[In] the end, their repeal bill is going to be so full of holes it looks like swiss cheese,” he quipped.
Schumer specifically questioned whether Republicans would vote against increasing seniors’ prescription drug benefits, permitting young people to stay on their parents’ health care plans until age 26, or giving Medicare recipients free check-ups.
Schumer’s threat came a week after the Republican-heavy House voted to repeal healthcare reform with the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to offer the repeal bill for a vote in the Senate, a decision Schumer agreed based on his notion that the American people are more focused on jobs and the economy.
In a letter to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Sens. Schumer and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) stated that repealing the reform measure might then require three million seniors to return their $250 checks they received as prescription drug rebates in 2010.
When pressed, Schumer told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that seniors might not be forced to repay the rebates, but that he wanted Cantor to commit to calling off the repeal if it is found that seniors must indeed repay the sum.
Cantor told reporters last week that issue of the $250 checks would be taken care of in the future.
“These checks were received under existing law now,” Cantor said.
He added, “If a repeal bill passes and there’s any uncertainty as to whether those checks would have to be recaptured, we can speak to that then. But no, the intention is not to require seniors to return the $250 checks that they received under the operation of the law.”
Schumer predicted that the Republican’s repeal effort would be for naught because only 20-percent of American voters want to do away with the reform.
This video is from CBS’s Face the Nation, broadcast Jan. 23, 2011, as snipped by Mediaite.