Warner, Webb to Back Key Health Care Vote

Sen. Mark Warner (D) plans to vote yes on a weekend measure that will allow debate on the Senate health care bill.

Warner talked about his plans Friday with Richmond-area business leaders.

“Moving to debate it simply starts the process,” Warner said.

The first-term senator said he still has reservations about the complicated legislation, adding that the only way to change the current bill is to get it onto the Senate floor.

“We need to make sure that we get this right and I think there’s a lot of improvements that I need to see in the bill before I could support its final passage,” Warner told me after the event.

The former governor praised measures in the bill that he says will reduce government spending and reform Medicare. But he said he wants to see more help for small businesses, which Warner believes are unfairly burdened with disproportionate health care costs.

He also criticized the Obama administration and top Democrats for “mis-selling” health care reform as the end-all solution to the nation’s medical problems.

“You’re not gonna fix health care in a single bill,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Webb (D) told me that her boss also plans to vote in favor of debate.

Webb communications director Jessica Smith said the senator is still undecided about his vote on the final bill, which he is reading now.

But she said Webb is concerned about the direction of the current health care system without some kind of reform.

Senate Democrats have set the key procedural vote for Saturday at 8 p.m.

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