The Senate now is debating the compromise Medicare reform bill, which passed the House this weekend, and may vote on the matter as early as this evening. Although the threat of a filibuster exists, the bill -- which would add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare and increase funding to hospitals -- appears likely to pass, observers said. The House, after raucous debate and a three-hour vote, approved the bill 220-215; 204 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted in favor of the bill. Most House votes take about 15 minutes, and after the Medicare vote, some Democrats complained that Republicans prolonged the process to pressure more lawmakers into voting for the bill. -- by Tony Fong
Senate vote on Medicare bill may come tonight
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