Brown: GOP Protecting Ebenezer Scrooge

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Brown: GOP Protecting Ebenezer Scrooge

CBS News – Having rounded up the 60 votes needed to prevent a Republican filibuster of the health care reform bill, Senate Democrats are preparing for a vote later this week on the massive package.

…If we do nothing to reform health care, said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on CBS' "Face the Nation" this morning, "insurance premiums are going to double. I'm amazed as I hear Republican after Republican take to the Senate floor and defend the insurance companies, practices worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge. The way they'd have it, is that the insurance companies would cancel Tiny Tim for a pre-existing condition."

Brown, who supported the public option which was jettisoned from the health care proposal, said he was disappointed in the legislation – "I think it could be a better bill" – but heralded the bill's insurance reform (such as ending exclusions for pre-existing conditions), end of gender discrimination in premiums, strengthening Medicare, and tax breaks for small businesses that ensure their employees.

"Most companies in Cincinnati and Cleveland and Columbus that I talk to want to insure their employees; they can't afford it," Brown said. "If they have 20 employees and one of them gets cancer, it makes their premiums unaffordable. This bill moves absolutely in the right direction."

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