How Senate Democrats can get to 60 votes on healthcare
With 60 votes, Democrats can beat a Republican filibuster – and they're increasingly confident of getting there by wooing party moderates.
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“We’re united. We’re all together,” said Senator Baucus. “In a real sense, all senators who want healthcare reform are in the room, because we’ll be talking with them.”Skip to next paragraph
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Senate majority leader Harry Reid, after meeting with the Democratic caucus, agreed that now everything is in the hands of the Democrats. “We want healthcare reform, and we’re going to do it with them or without” Republicans.
New idea: Allowing states to opt out of the public option
Democrats might consider further compromises in their closed-door meeting in an effort to ensure 60 votes for the final bill.
“If we’ve got some members who say they can’t vote for health reform if it has a public plan and others who say they can’t vote for it if it doesn’t, we’ve got to find some middle ground – and that’s what we’re going to try to do,” said Senator Carper, a member of the Senate Finance panel who opted to wait for closed-door negotiations to present his plan.
Any more Olympia Snowes out there?
Others who have worked across party lines on issues such as judicial nominations and national security are reaching out to GOP moderates to find common ground.
Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine, another possible GOP vote for healthcare, has been meeting regularly with moderate Senate Democrats. But she says if the final bill includes a public option, “it will not have my vote.”
Noting the positive tone of today’s caucus discussions on heath care, Senate deputy leader Richard Durbin says: “I feel more positive about that than I have in weeks gone by. I just think there’s a sense of historic opportunity and they can’t resist that.”
Who is getting healthcare right?
Click here for a global roundup of how other countries handle healthcare.
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