Healthcare legislation moves closer to floor debate in both houses of Congress. And the rhetoric is heating up.

The Senate version has cleared committee on a strictly partisan vote. The House version will be out of committee before long. All signs point to a lot of votes on party lines.

Republican Congressman Roy Blunt has little good to say about the Democrats’ plans. He says the Democrats will kill jobs, limit healthcare access, raise taxes, and lead to a government takeover of the industry. Senator McCaskill disagrees with Blunt on every point. Point one, the Democrat plan is a job-killer. She says the Democrat plan will remove the burden of high healthcare costs off of small businesses, allowing them to flourish.

Blunt says Democrats will limit access. McCaskill says the present system of HMOs already limits access. Blunt says the Democrat plan will lead to a government takeover of health care. McCaskill says those who agree with Blunt should feel comfortable with the costs of healthcare from the insurance industry–and the big bonuses insurance executives get.

Blunt says that if the plan is so good, every elected federal official from the President down should be covered by it. He’ll try to add that provision. McCaskill says that this bill will not be quickly passed. She thinks a final version won’t be approved until late October.

upload BP’s story (:59 mp3)