U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd invited reporters to his Hartford office Friday to talk about his 1,400-page bill to reform the financial system, but the conversation turned toward another major reform effort—health care.
With the House expected to vote on the Senate’s health care bill this weekend, even Dodd, who ushered the bill through the committee process in U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy’s absence, said he too will be closely watching the vote.
“I’m as curious as you are,” Dodd said. “I’m told they’re getting very close to that 216 number they need to pass that bill.”
If it passes the House is moves onto the Senate where it will be voted on through the reconciliation process that requires a simple majority.
“I think it’s an extreme process to be using,” but “the process means less to me than the goal of getting this done,” Dodd said.
He said the Senate has used the reconciliation process 122 times in the last seven years. However, “It’s never been used on a bill this big,” Dodd admitted.
The $100 million competitive grant that the state of Connecticut is counting on to move forward with its expansion of the University of Connecticut hospital in Farmington is still in the bill.
Dodd said he can understand the concerns about special carve outs in the bill for specific states, but the $100 million is not one of them.
He said Connecticut is one of the many states that can apply for the $100 million.