In a final push for a sweeping health care overhaul, President Obama on Wednesday urged Congress to "finish its work" and hold an "up or down vote" on reform. With the GOP uniformly opposed, Obama said he was willing to accept Republican ideas — he listed four in a letter to congressional leaders — but not to start over. Obama urged Democrats to pass the bill with GOP cooperation or without it — making it clear that Democrats have resolved to use a procedure called reconciliation to get around a Republican filibuster. The question is, will it work? (Watch Obama make a push for health care reform)
This means war: So, it's official. The Democrats are resorting to "the nuclear option" to jam this "destructive health care bill" down our throats, says Dan Riehl in Riehl World View. This means "all out" political war. Republicans now are duty bound to "undertake every step, every maneuver it can to bring this government to a halt." This isn't over yet.
"When in the course of human events"
Victory is finally within reach for Democrats: Thanks to Sen. Jim Bunning's recent theatrics, says Ezra Klein in The Washington Post, people are recognizing "the inanity of Republican obstructionism," so it's easier now "for Democrats to explain why they need to turn to reconciliation to assure the up-or-down vote." And if Democrats are bringing it to a vote, they must be confident they'll win.
"Pieces falling into place for vote on health-care reform"
Liberals still have a fight on their hands: The abortion issue could still kill this bill, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. The reconciliation process requires the House to pass the version approved by the Senate. But pro-life House Democrats aren't likely to play along without the House bill's Stupak amendment, which explicitly bars federal funding for abortion services. In short, expect the first step in reconciliation to be a doozy.
"Abortion still the stumbling block for ObamaCare"
This is Obama's endgame: Obama offered to accept a few GOP ideas, says John Dickerson in Slate, such as searching for alternatives to resolve medical malpractice disputes, and Republicans aren't budging. So this is Obama's "end game." He's betting Democrats will come together, and "popular support will follow" once the bill passes and the world doesn't end. It'll be "a miracle," but he just might pull it off.
"Health care rising"