White House Asks Reid to Make a Deal with Lieberman on Health Reform

The White House “is encouraging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), which would mean eliminating the proposed Medicare expansion in the health reform bill, according to an official close to the negotiations,” POLITICO reports.

But Reid is described as so frustrated with Lieberman that he is not ready to sacrifice a key element of the health care bill, and first wants to see the Congressional Budget Office cost analysis of the Medicare buy-in. The analysis is expected early this week.

"There is a weariness and a lot of frustration that one person is holding up the will of 59 others," the official said. “There is still too much anger and confusion at one particular senator’s reversal.”

Some supporters of the Democratic health proposal have been asking that Senate leaders revisit the idea of using budget reconciliation to force the legislation through.  That may not be a viable option at the moment, especially if a bill is to be passed this year.

Reconciliation, a procedural maneuver to get around a filibuster, remains on the table, but it’s not a viable option at the moment, the official said. It would push the issue into next year with no guarantee of success.

(credit image – getty)

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Filed under Health, Party Leadership, White House

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