Summing up the upcoming “summit” between Republicans and the Obama Administration on health care:
. . . “There’s hope for a breakthrough here, but the odds of that are not very good,” said a top Democratic aide who has worked for years on health care. “This is a media event.”
Quelle surprise. Of course, we do happen to learn something interesting about the nascent Democratic plan to use reconciliation to pass health care reform:
Many Democrats in Congress said they doubted that it was feasible to pass a major health care bill with a parliamentary tool called reconciliation, which is used to speed adoption of budget and tax legislation. Reconciliation requires only 51 votes for passage in the Senate, but entails procedural and political risks.
“If we took a vote now, we would not have 51 votes for that approach,” said a Senate Democratic aide. “The president would have to do a major sales job. He is the only person who has the political capital to do it. But his focusing on health care means that our efforts to focus on jobs are likely to be drowned out.”
I think that it is now safe to say that the Administration’s approach to passing health care reform has completely lapsed into the realm of silliness.