QUOTE OF THE DAY…. If being obsessed with the status of health care reform is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters today that President Obama’s remarks in support of reform in the State of the Union were “helpful” in moving the process forward, but added that discussions with the Senate are ongoing. On a discouraging note, the Speaker made it seem as if the differences with the Senate are considerable and hard to overcome: “I would not call them minor tweaks because that would imply there’s something there that we could accept, except for some minor tweaks. No, it’s more serious than that.”
That’s the bad news. The good news is, Pelosi reiterated just how committed she is to making reform a reality:
“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”
Compare Pelosi’s strength and determination with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) whining today, and it’s pretty clear who’s truly serious about taking advantage of his once-in-a-generation opportunity.
As for Pelosi’s counterpart in the other chamber, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) scheduled a meeting this afternoon with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — all key players in the Senate reform effort — to discuss how best to proceed on the issue.
The fact that they’re having this conversation is at least mildly encouraging — at Tuesday’s caucus meeting, health care reform didn’t come up at all.