Durbin says deadline looming for health care bill

AP News
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Posted: Nov 22, 2009 11:19 AM

A leading Democratic senator says the proposed health care overhaul must pass the Senate by the end of the year, so that lawmakers can begin to concentrate on the economy and job creation.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip, says if debate goes into next year, passage of the health care bill becomes more complex.

The Senate agreed on Saturday to begin debate after the Thanksgiving break. A key complication is opposition from moderates who say they will vote against the final bill if it includes a provision for a government insurance option.

On the Republican side, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas calls the Senate measure "a disaster" for the nation.

The senators spoke Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."