August 19th, 2009
09:27 AM ET
13 years ago

WH may push through health care reform without Republicans

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Democrats say Republicans, particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, aren't serious about striking a deal."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration is looking hard at pushing through a health care reform bill without Republican backing, top Democrats close to the White House have told CNN.

The Democratic majority in the Senate has been stymied in the health care debate by Republicans and conservative Democrats, leaving them short of the 60-vote "filibuster-proof" margin needed to pass the bill.

Democratic success could depend on an obscure tactic called reconciliation, a type of budget maneuver that requires only a simple majority - 51 votes - to pass.

Going it alone could be risky for Democrats, not because they couldn't raise the votes, but because Republicans could cast it as a power play, accusing them of failing to win bipartisan support. But it's a fight Democrats might be willing to enter.

"If we have to push it through this way, no one is going to remember how messy it was," a top White House adviser told CNN. "At the end of the day, they'll remember we got health care reform done. A win is a win."

White House officials are beginning to lay the groundwork for such a move, telling CNN that they'll have to take drastic measures if there's no movement.

Sources from the administration and the Democratic side of Capitol Hill have told CNN that they're becoming increasingly convinced that Republicans - particularly Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley - involved in the negotiating process aren't serious about striking a deal.

Full story

Filed under: Health care • Obama administration • Senate
soundoff (342 Responses)
  1. Ren from Baltimore

    I agree-a win is a win. Go it alone, get the Republicans out of the way now.

    Republicans have telegraphed very strongly that they are out to sink Obama, no matter what the cost to the nation and its citizens. There was a very good reason this party of buffoons was voted out of office-they are unhealthy to the nation.

    August 19, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |

    THANK YOU!!!

    It's about time they GREW SOME KAHONA'S.

    REPUBLICANS ARE WORTHLESS.....except to their mistresses!

    August 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. PJ

    I have no doubt that they will not only "go it alone" but they will also pass this massive overhaul (I should say overkill) of our health care system. But just keep in mind that election time is coming. The Democrats might overhaul our health care systems, but the voters will overhaul Congress.

    August 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  4. Tommy

    Please do. I can't stand to watch this crap anymore.

    CNN should be ashamed about what they are doing. Their own poll states 3 out of every 4 are confused about the plans out there. After seeing what has been going on now at townhalls, my reply would be: "yah, ya think?"

    Aim high!

    August 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. rev

    Screw the Republicans like they screwed us during the past eight years with failed policy after failed policy. Health care with a public option is a mandatory issue and the Dems need to stop being such namby-pambys and just do it. No Republican will ever vote for this, no matter how nice the Dems try to be. And with 83% of Americans wanting it to pass, let's leave the Republicans where they belong... in the past.

    August 19, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. ChristianK

    3 words: Get it done.

    August 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The White House should get something done. The only down side is if it doesn't live up to expectations, then there will be only one side to blame. I have to say that with the lack of any positive ideas from the Republicans, this is not making it any easier.

    August 19, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Battle Cry for Change

    When I read this news, I started jumping for joy. So proud of the democrats (and actually, I'm a Independent) for finally standing up.

    We're ignoring and elevating up from those who are trying to take this administration on a wild goose chase away from progress and success.

    You have a majority in congress, Mr. President. Use it! No one can say that you didn't try working with the GOP. You tried, and now we move on.

    OBAMA 2012!!! Hell Yes We Can!

    August 19, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. km in STL

    Um...I'll remember how messy it is if they get this done without bi-partisan support. And, I'll remember it when I am voting.

    August 19, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. gpenn FL

    The Republicans have no intention of trying to iron out a deal, so I think the Dems need to proceed without them. This is the the only chance we will get at meaningful healthcare reform and I can't see any reason to compromise anything at this point. The Republicans are going to attack any plan, so just put up the best plan and go without them.

    August 19, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. POEMAN

    Before the folks on the right start thier uproar over the use of reconciliation, let me throw this out there........
    The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, and The Tax Increase Prevention Reconciliation Act of 2005 were three of the bills used for the Bush tax cuts and all were passed by the Republican congress using reconciliation.

    The fact is none of the Republican members of congress are going to vote for ANY health care reform bill so why not put through the best bill possible and stop reducing this to reform in name only. The people voted in a democratic president and congress to begin rebuilding this country.

    In case you forgot. The DEMOCRATS won!

    August 19, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. Bryan

    "No one is going to remember how messy it was." Really?
    "A win is a win." Even if it's a Pyrrhic victory?

    August 19, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  13. Former Republican

    Good 🙂

    We need reform and the rich white republican master of the uneducated slave sheep that are mind washed by twisting the christian bible ripping sound bit out of it or just rewrite the bible to keep the slaves well fed on koolaid. Just like the taliban twist and rewrite islam to keep there uneducated slaves faithfull in blowing them selves up in market squares.

    (Notice the Taliban and Republicans leaders share the same twisted tactics to keep there slave sheep loyal to them LOL)

    I hope the common man , woman ,and children all that cant afford the rich white repulican insurance can now be insurred and make our country be a TRUE AMERICAN COUNTRY not some perverted twisted country with the ww2 germany flag waving inside the stars and banner.

    I bet Rush, Palin Rove all think Hittler was a misunderstood victum of WW2 LOL but there smart enuf not to say that on TV

    August 19, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  14. JJP

    Forget the GOP....President Obama do what you say you would do duing the presidential campaign. GOP is going to fight any and everything your administration propose. Believe me, if they had the majority they would not be worry about democrats. Please Democrats get a back bone for once in your life or I am leaving the party.

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. donttreadonme

    Since the product they are pushing is garbage and the majority have rejected it, the libs only hope is to create partisan outrage. Instead of discussing the issues in regards to the bill the Obama team and their media partners have focused on the screaming town halls and the couple of folks with guns.
    The media lead by MSNBC is pushing that the people against the bill are paid off or misinformed.
    How about putting out a Healthcare bill that helps the majority of people and one that we can afford?

    Obama is using Health care as a re-election tool!

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Santana from California

    Good, I'm tired of all the lies, scared tactics from the GOP, can we get rid of FOX too, they add more to the lies the debate. We need Health Care reform and a public option. I don't know who does the surveys and polls, but where I work, they're people who are afraid of losing their jobs, and losing their health care insurance, and how the insurance companies continually increase our co-payments and deductibles. I know we are not the minority. Stop defending the Health Care industry!!!

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  17. U.S. Common Sense

    Please do. And when the Democrats fail to get it passed, I hope that they realize that even members of their own party do not want this boondoggle-in-the-making on their hands. It is time the Democrats realize their spree of omnibus bills have ended, and it is time to go back to doing small legislative packages.

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. just joe

    Don't you just love it when "unnamed sources," anonymous Administration sources",,,blah, blah capture the typing fingers of at least one of our "mainstream" media....."mainstream" is defined as "internet." So I am quietly telling CNN that if the Democrats try the 51 vote stunt, there will be hell to pay in the next congressional election as well as the next Presidential election. Do NOT try to run my life Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.......go do something productive.

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. SP

    Thats great. I hope they are stupid enough to make this move. That way when it fails, the nation has noone but the dems to blame.

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  20. Stella

    Republicans have been fueling the public with falsehoods and lies to keep heathcare reform from happening. They are leading the lambs to slaughter.

    August 19, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Carrie

    Go it alone.

    The Republicans not going to vote for any measure anyway, that's just a waste of time. Do the vote with the Dems and call it a day.

    August 19, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. felicia

    I hope they do the repigs are a worthless group of minorities who knows nothing about the american people

    August 19, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  23. kim

    whooo hooo! Now thats what im talkin' about! Show them who really holds the power. Public Option here we come!

    August 19, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. sandiegan

    GO! go! Go!

    August 19, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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