Obama doubts consensus on Health reform

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Obama doubts consensus on Health reform
Washington, Feb 26: Ending the televised summit on health care overhaul on Thursday, Feb 25, President Barack expressed doubt on a consensus between the Democrats and Republicans on the health care reforms.

Dismissing the Republican suggestions like starting from scratch, discussing the issue much longer or taking a step-by-step solution, Obama said that Democrats will try to pass a the bill without the Republican support.

"We cannot have another year long debate about this," Obama said at the end of a 7-hour marathon policy debate.

"The truth of the matter is that politically speaking, there may not be any reason for Republicans to want to do anything," Obama said, summing up. "I don't need a poll to know that most Republican voters are opposed to this bill and might be opposed to the kind of compromise we could craft.

"And if we can't," he added, "I think we've got to go ahead and some make decisions, and then that's what elections are for. "

Obama's as well his party's political future depends on the passing of the version of the bill which the Republicans, despite the democratics strong majority in Congress, have succeeded in blocking it.

Asking the Republicans to 'do a little soul searching', Obama said that majority Democrats would take a quick decision to go ahead with the issue that has remained untouched for almost half a century.

The Democrats lost the supermajority when the Republicans captured the Massachusetts Senate seat to replace the late Edward M Kennedy, before the chambers of Congress could reconcile the two versions of the bills passed in 2009.

The 60-vote supermajority was crucial for the Democrats to pass major legislation, to beat the Republican procedural opposition.

However, the Democrats can still make use of the special budget rules that require only a simple majority to pass the health bill.

The democrats were apprehensive of using the process as it could draw the ire of the Republicans as well as worsen the partisan divide.

The lack of consensus have stalled Democrats plan to extend coverage to more than 30 million uninsured people.

Along with the Republicans' opposition to the bill, the public's opinion too is divided over it.

While poll reveals that though the people want problems of high medical costs, eroding access to coverage and uneven quality to be addressed by their elected members, they are confused over the  Democrats" sweeping legislation, with its $1 trillion, 10-year price tag and many complex provisions, including some that will not take effect for another eight years — much after Obama is no longer in power.

OneIndia News

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