Reid Scrambles for Health Care Bill Support

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After weeks of putting the finishing touches on the Senate's health care bill, majority leader Sen. Harry Reid is now playing the role of chief mathematician.

Ultimately, he needs 60 votes to pass the reform bill.

But before the legislation hits the Senate floor, 60 senators must vote in favor of bringing the legislation to the floor for debate.

So far, Reid hasn't drummed up enough support from within his voting bloc.

He planned on unveiling the much-anticipated bill to Democratic colleagues in a closed-door meeting, Wednesday. His goal is to rally enough support to at least get the ball moving and debate his bill.

On the Senate floor, supporters called on fellow lawmakers - saying it's time to act.

"I say to my colleagues let's work together over the coming weeks to strengthen this legislation, empower small businesses and put America's health care system on the road to recovery," said Sen. Mark Udall.

Republicans are united in their opposition, citing recent election wins in Virginia and New Jersey as proof the public is on their side.

"Americans want cost control, and they want affordable and available health care," Sen. John McCain said. "They don't want increases in taxes. They don't want the government taking over the health care system in America, and that's what's going to be delivered."

Moderate Democrats are also weary about issues ranging from government transparency to the controversial public option for health care.

Reid's proposal reportedly contains a government-run health insurance option that would give states the opportunity to opt out.

Preliminary estimates by the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of the bill at around $900 billion-- far less than the bill approved by the House earlier this month.

Meanwhile, more Democrats are voicing serious doubts about passing the bill before year's end.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at