March 1st, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Time for Democrats to take a risk

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/12/11/health.care.benefit.caps/story.bill.gi.jpg caption= "Democrats are considering having the House pass the health care bill approved in the Senate, then dealing with additional reforms through reconciliation." width=300 height=169]

Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN

After the Republicans and Democrats met at the White House summit on health care, it was clear that the parties are very far away from a bipartisan agreement. Indeed, few participants walked away with the sense that they were any closer to a deal.

The White House did make clear that it was willing to move forward on health care without Republican support. The choice now becomes whether Democrats should use the budget reconciliation process to pass some parts of health care legislation. According to recent reports, Democrats are considering having the House pass the bill that was already approved in the Senate and then dealing with a package of additional reforms through reconciliation.

Programs that are considered under the reconciliation process are not subject to a Senate filibuster. Democrats would only need 51 votes, not 60, to pass those parts of the bill that are included under reconciliation.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health Care • Julian E. Zelizer
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. JD

    I m tired of politicking on this I hope they will get a health care bill passed as soon as possible. Congress does not waste time getting their own lifetime healthcare plans passed. A national healthcare plan should be paseed and then it can be improved in future practice. The party of no to me should be the party of no congressional salaries since they are doing no work. A two year old can say no.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    Beyond the issue that reconciliation may have been an often used tool in the senate, that still does not mean it is not tabled in such as way as to allow abusive use of power.

    March 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  3. Josephine

    They are not hurting President Obama by not supporting Health Care Reform, the people suffering from this issue are many Americans.

    March 1, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  4. Maria H-Miami

    I don't get it, is this about Votes-Re-election or about us the People? Serioulsy, they don't walk the talk. By the way, what makes them think that passing Health Care Reform will cost them Votes?

    March 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm |