[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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