WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says lawmakers will work weekends to complete a sweeping health care bill because "nothing can be more important than this."
Other political news of note
Poll: Support for stricter gun control drops
Support for stricter gun-control measures has dropped to its lowest level since last year’s tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn., according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
- House passes National Defense Authorization Act
- Obama health care promise named 'Lie of the Year'
- Pelosi to Dems on budget deal: 'Embrace the suck'
- All night long: Rancorous Senate's 24-hour schedule continues
- Poll: Support for stricter gun control drops
Senate debate is getting under way Monday afternoon on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Reid, D-Nev., said the nation's health care system has created an economic crisis for thousands of Americans and Congress needs to address the problem.
Reid said the Senate will work Saturdays and Sundays in December. He said: "There's not an issue more important than finishing this legislation."
Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the bill would spend trillions of dollars that the country can't afford. He said the measure was "out of touch with the American people."
Congressional budget experts say the health care bill on the Senate floor would lower the average price of insurance premiums if it passes, although millions would face higher costs.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation would raise premiums on non-group policies by an average of 10 percent to 13 percent before figuring in the federal subsidies that are designed to defray the cost of coverage. Once the government aid is included in the calculations, average premiums would be as much as 59 percent lower than is now the case.
The CBO says the bill would have a far smaller impact on the cost of small group and large group insurance.
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