Democrats are actively looking into using the parliamentary shortcut known as reconciliation to get a health care bill to the President's desk. They are specifically exploring two issues: The ins-and-outs of how the complicated process could work, and whether the votes are there in the Senate and House to execute such a strategy.
On the process, Democratic aides told CNN they are consulting with the parliamentarians in both the House and the Senate on what is possible. The general idea is for the House to pass the Senate bill, and for a package of changes that mirror the President's plan to be passed through both chambers under reconciliation rules, which would only need 51 votes in the Senate.
One question for the parliamentarians is whether it's possible to pass the changes before the House votes on the Senate bill. Many House Democrats said that's the only way they would agree to the complicated scenario, because they don't like the Senate bill, and do not trust the Senate to follow through with a promise to pass the compromise package. House Democrats would likely require an iron clad commitment from Senate Democrats and the President before agreeing to pass the changes first.
Another question Democrats have for the parliamentarians is more fundamental: What can they actually pass through the reconciliation process? The maneuver is only supposed to be used for legislation that affects taxes and the deficit.
Then there is the challenge of whether Democrats even have enough votes to pull off the complicated game plan. Democratic sources told CNN they still aren't completely sure there would even be a 51-vote simple majority in the Senate to finalize health care with the parliamentary short cut.
Although Democratic leaders are already reminding the public that Republicans used reconciliation many times for their legislation, some Democrats may be concerned about a public backlash in the face of GOP accusations that they short-circuited the process.
The House may be even tougher. House Democrats passed their version of health care with a slim majority and will be missing several votes this time around because of vacancies. The lone Republican who voted for the House bill, Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, already said he will be a "No" next time around. There may also be some vulnerable Democrats facing tough races this year who decide to change their yes vote to no.
But the biggest obstacle to passing the Senate's health bill in the House and getting it to the president's desk may be abortion. By some estimates, close to a dozen Democrats opposed to abortion rights may vote against the bill because they say it's not strict enough in making sure taxpayer dollars are not spent on the procedure.