WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) voted early Monday morning against limiting debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR.3590) and moving the health care reform plan crafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid toward Senate approval.

Cochran voted against the cloture petition and advocated for additional consideration of the legislation. The Democratic majority reached the 60-vote threshold needed to move the bill forward. A final Senate vote could occur Christmas eve.

“I believe the Senate’s legislation, like that which passed the House of Representatives, is flawed and overreaches in the scope of the reforms it is trying to force on the American people and our health care system,” Cochran said.

“We need to reform our nation’s health care system, but this is not reform. It is bad policy for the American people and the long-term finances of our country. It will make health insurance premiums go up. It will cut Medicare by $500 billion. It will force cash-strapped states like Mississippi to expand Medicaid. It will raise taxes on individuals, businesses and the health care industry. Furthermore, it is bad for small businesses,” he said.

Following the likely Senate passage of HR.3590 this week, the measure will be referred to a conference committee to reconcile differences with the health care reform measure passed by the House of Representatives.

“This measure is being pushed forward despite the opposition of a majority of Americans, most governors and other state officials, consumer groups, business leaders and health care professionals,” Cochran said. “It is my hope that in the New Year the Senate and House negotiators will step back from these two flawed bills to fashion a more measured reform plan that can improve our health care system, without all the negative ramifications we now face in the Senate and House bills.”

Senator Thad Cochran Press Release