Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate have postponed a vote on health-care reform until after Congress returns from its August break, despite President Barack Obama's push to tackle the country's $2.4 trillion medical-care system before the traditional summertime recess.
"It's better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than try to jam something through," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who made the announcement Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
The rush to enact the complex legislation had riled Republicans, and Reid said the delay would provide time for a possible compromise, the AP said.
Reid said that the Senate Finance Committee would finalize its version of the bill before adjourning. Separate legislation already approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, known as HELP, would be merged with the Finance bill, according to the AP.
But some lawmakers predict difficulty in merging the bills because the Finance Committee is seeking bipartisan approval for its measure, whereas Democratic votes secured passage of the HELP bill.
Reid said that senior Republicans working on the Finance bill had asked for more time to work out a compromise, the AP noted. "The decision was made to give them more time, and I don't think it's unreasonable," he said.
Obama appeared on prime-time television Wednesday night to make another appeal for health-care reform.