Reid Suggests Democrats May Approve Health Care Without GOP Input
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday morning pushed back against Republican criticism of his Conference’s plans for health care reform, hinting subtly that Democrats are prepared to approve a bill without minority input.“From the start, I repeat, we’ve reached out to Republicans. We let them know we would rather write this bill with them. That’s what we want to do,— Reid said during his morning business floor remarks. “Republicans have a choice in this debate. … They can choose to work with us, or they can choose to work against the interests of the American people.—Senate Republicans have for months been intimately involved in the health care negotiations led by Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.).But Republicans have become increasingly wary of the final result, given President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders have made clear that implementing a government-run, public plan option must be a part of any package. Senate Democrats do not necessarily need GOP votes to pass a health care overhaul, but many would prefer to have Republican buy-in.For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), for the seventh consecutive legislative day, used his morning business remarks to criticize Democratic moves to create a public plan option as a part of health care reform.