SC's Clyburn pushing for health bill

Myrtle Beach, SC - By Brandon Herring - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - President Barack Obama is pushing hard to pass a United States health care reform bill this week, and he is getting help from Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina.

Clyburn, a Democrat representing South Carolina District 6, is the Democratic Party Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sunday, he appeared on NBC's Meet the Press to defend the health care reform bill and talk about the work being done to pass it.

Democrats may have a window of opportunity to pass the bill, but some people in the Grand Strand say they would like to understand it better before a vote.

"There're certain risks in postponing it, but I still would prefer that it be postponed so we can all have a better understanding of what it is they're going to propose," explained Jean Desnouee of Murrells Inlet.

Desnouee described himself as a strong supporter of health care reform and said he does not completely oppose passing the current bill. In contrast, Becky Jones of North Myrtle Beach said she is confident in her opposition to the bill.

"I think that's the problem is that they're pressing to have a massive bill that the American people really don't know what's in it."

Jones said she would like to see some kind of reduction in health care costs, but she does not feel the current bill is the right way to do it. Her friend Margaret Ramsey, also of North Myrtle Beach, agreed that she would like to see health care reform. She said she is more likely to support the bill, but she is still unsure about it.

"I'd like to see something passed, but I'd like to understand it before it gets passed," Ramsey said.

President Obama says a vote should come immediately and the time for discussion has passed.

Democrats need 216 votes to pass a health care reform bill. As Clyburn admitted Sunday morning, right now, they are coming up short.

"As of this morning do you have the votes that you need?" asked Tom Brokaw, who was hosting the show in place of David Gregory.

"No, we don't have them as of this morning, but we've been working this thing all weekend," Clyburn replied. "We'll be working it going into the week. I am also very confident that we'll get this done."

In order for the health care reform bill to pass it must go through several steps. The House would vote on the Senate bill and then vote again on a package of changes to the bill. Then President Obama could sign the health bill. After that, the Senate would need to pass the House package of changes. Then the President could sign the final bill.

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