Obama to Tell Democrats: Last Chance on Health Care

Posted December 15, 2009 at 8:29am

A White House official Tuesday confirmed that President Barack Obama will issue Senate Democrats a tough message during a meeting at the White House today, telling them that if they don’t pass health care reform this time around, they may never get another opportunity.Democrats who thought the bill was back on track when they dropped the public insurance option are now facing a new impasse over their substitute plan for a Medicare “buy-in— for people as young as 55. Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) has said he opposes the proposal, and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has expressed reservations. In addition, Democrats who have been supportive of the measure may not vote for it if it does not reduce health costs and the deficit.White House officials say the negative warning of “last train out of the station for health reform— will be accompanied by a more positive presidential effort to rally Democrats into action. Obama’s strategists hope that bringing the caucus together at the White House will help create a sense of unity that has so far been beyond their grasp.