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February 26th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Should Dems try to ram health care reform through with 51 votes?

ALT TEXT

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor picks up a copy of the Senate's health care reform plan prior to the start of a bipartisan meeting hosted by Pres. Obama. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As predicted, that day-long televised health care summit wasn't much more than political theater.

The Democrats are taking a hard look at using a 51-vote shortcut in the Senate to ram a health care bill through. It's a procedure known as reconciliation and it is supposed to be used only for legislation that affects taxes and the deficit.

Democrats are trying to figure out how the complicated process could work, and whether they even have enough votes in both houses to make it happen.

The plan would be for the House to pass the bill that's already gone through the Senate, and then for both houses to pass a package of changes that mirror the president's plan. Under those rules, the Democrats would only need 51 votes in the Senate.

But there are problems. Plenty of them...

For starters, Senate Democrats aren't even sure if they would have the 51-vote simple majority needed. They could also face a big-time backlash from the public for trying to jam this thing though.

Over in the House - Democrats may not have enough votes either. The one Republican who voted for the health care bill last time already says he'll vote "no," not to mention Democrats facing tough re-election races who may change their votes to "no."

And, abortion might be the biggest obstacle of all. There could be as many as a dozen house Democrats who'd vote against the senate bill because they say it's not strict enough in making sure tax money doesn't pay for abortions.

Here’s my question to you: Should Democrats try to ram health care reform through the Senate with 51 votes?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.


Filed under: Democrats • Health care
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Carl

    Jack,
    Yes, or allow us to have the same insurance as our senators.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Maria

    This may be the only solution left. What is wrong with those bobble-heads? What a disaster for a government. I had had such huge hopes...now I am so saddened by what we purport to be international leaders. Can't even get our own house in order.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    February 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  3. Mary, Wheaton IL

    Yes they should, but not until they release/publish a list of all legislation "rammed" through by the Republicans during their tenure as the majority party.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  4. JIM El Paso Tx

    Yep they sure should Jack. After watching that fiasco yesterday it's quite apparent the party of NO has not and will not contribute anything on this matter....pass it and if it don't work a Repuke will be in the White House in 2012. On the other hand if it DOES work then Boehner and all his clowns will forever be OUT🙂

    February 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  5. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Yes. If universal health care is so awful why don't we hear universal complaining from the countries who do offer it? It's often said the U.S. is the most wealthy country in the world, it's mindless to waste the money on concocted wars against small countries who are of no threat. Paying for health care is far more beneficial than wars, especially needless ones.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  6. Bob King

    The Democrats Health plan should not be forced on us.
    They[democrars]listen but acted as they hadn't.They will not support the 60 plus pecent that want a new bill.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  7. Sheila Wille NJ

    Hell no. But they'll do it It's there way or no way. My mother would say
    " they are very bold"

    February 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  8. Carl Ball

    Jack,

    I believe the American people deserve a vote on the Compromise House-Senate Bill. If 51 Senators want it and a majority of House Representatives – it passes. If 51 Senators don’t want it – it fails. For something this important to the health and safety of millions of people, that is the only fair thing to do in a Democratic Republic.

    Carl from Pahrump, Nv

    February 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  9. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes they should, Jack; but only if they are seriously going to address the out of control costs and not play "Let's make a deal" and give special treatment to certain groups or states to get "something" passed. Listening to the Wyoming senator yesterday speaking at the summit (he is an MD too), its so obvious that many of the Republican senators are not in touch with main street America. They think that just because THEY can afford high deductible insurance plans and can fund Health Savings Accounts and think because they probably do have excellent health care, the rest of America can afford and receives the same coverage.

    There are no doubt Democratic senators that feel the same way the Republican Senator does, too. I would love to see them try to live on the budget that the average American they represent has to live on and see how that high deductible and world's best health care system really is.

    Why again is it that we need a US Senate??????

    February 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Krishna

    YES! This was a campaign issue in the last presidential election and people have spoken. They also put the Democrats in the congress in the majority position to implement their mandate. So, what is the problem, Jack?

    KK

    February 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  11. Eric - Houston

    No Jack, many of the problems in our legislature have come about due to one party trying to ram a nomination or law through or deciding to use a procedural hurdle in a new way and then when the congress changes hands the bar has been lowered. The worm always turns. This is a major social program and if it is OK to enact it using reconciliation, then it will be equally OK to reverse and do away with it using reconciliation when the President and the Senate are again in Republican hands, be it in 3, 7, 11 or 15 years. Whatever one says about how hard it is to get things done in Washington, swinging back and forth would be worse.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  12. Andrea in Grayslake, Illinois

    I don't think a majority vote is 'ramming' anything, Jack

    February 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  13. Justin

    They most definitely should and MUST - Of the 22 times the budget reconciliation procedure has been used since its inception in 1974, 14 have come from a Republican-controlled congress, including ramming through the Patriot Act for God's sake! Middle class Americans need health reform NOW, we cannot afford to wait... I support and applaud any means available to the Democrats to push this legislation through, regardless of it's supposed lack of popularity, in itself a result of lies and distortions perpetuated by the right wing. Jack, the time has come for some real action from the Democrats - Obama did win the election after all - and I'm glad to see it!

    Justin in Sacramento, CA

    February 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  14. Marry

    Healthcare reform is a must!!! It becomes clearer every day that the GOP has no interest at all to change the system. They are in the pockets of a sucking industry. One can be sure that the GOP will not do it – they did not do anything in the last 8 years and they will do nothing – never! They just care for profits not for people and only use them to ram talking points and lies down their thoughts. Seems really patriotic of those to have thousands of fellow Americans die, go bankrupt, close businesses etc. just so some can fill their pockets big time! So – yes, Obama should do it – and people will thank him when they find out they are the ones that benefit, the cost are much less than doing nothing and to have an option when your insurance dumps you when you get sick.
    How can anyone go GOP after what one know about them....

    February 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  15. Amine Chaar

    Jack, if this is the only way tp pass this bill they should, the GOP are working with the lobbyist and the insurance companies. The American people will be the only losers if this bill doesnot pass soon.

    I had enough of big business, lobbyists and special interest, we should get rid of any one who oppose this bill

    February 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  16. Willow, Iowa

    Yes, make it what the majority in this country want– a strong public option, no pre existing conditions, no caps on care, buy across state lines, pools of ins. companies, tort reform, and assistance for the people that cannot afford the private insurances we have now. I'd even be happy with a mandate, as long as there was a strong public option, similar to medicare.

    Just as with the Jobs bill, Republicans began to jump on the yea vote because they thought it would go through and they did not want to be showing their constituents that they voted against it. I think if we force the vote, it will go through. If not, well, its not going through right now. So we have to do something. Force the vote.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Joanne

    That would not be very wise. The maximum cap on addition to the deficit is 5 Billion Dollars for 10 yrs in the Reconcilation Rules. If they do that it will prove along with the aforementioned that they more than lilkely should be removed from office for illegal activity. Rob't Byrd has written a letter that this Law was not meant for this type of policy as aparently it is for deficit reduction and adjustment to taxes (however there are caps per year and per 10 yr re dollars). With the unconstitutional mandates we might have lawsuits forever.
    States are passing laws to try and protect themselves, which should tell Obama and his far left liberal friends to be careful.
    Joanne
    Mn

    February 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  18. Chuck Darling

    America wrote no laws before the Constitution.

    That type of document, with its economy of words,
    and spiritual intent,
    and amendability...

    is what we need for Health Care.

    The Omnibus will follow.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  19. edbull38

    Sure If the republicans can use the same tactics to run through 1 trillion in tax breaks for the top 1 percent that what's wrong in using that for the bottom 30 .

    February 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  20. Ed from MD

    The lobbyists would probably expect them to.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  21. Chuck Darling

    No American should needlessly die of infection.

    Broken bones should be set.

    People need teeth to chew and digest food, to prevent illness, which is expensive, and difficult to treat.

    People need glasses, to read the warnings on their prescriptions.

    People nead hearing aids, to hear the horn, and avoid an accident.

    Chuck Darling, Washington, D.C.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  22. Dina

    Jack I do not like the words ram through. We have been dealing with HCR for almost a year nothing is being ram through. With that said I think than we should reconcile the difference with senate and house bills. And use the procedure known as RECONCILIATION to pass the bill hopefully with a Public Option!!

    February 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  23. Linda Williams San Francisco

    Jack I don't like the use of the word RAM. I think that they should use whatever it takes to get this bill passed. I retired in January 2008. July 1, 2009, my premiuns tripled.With just my retirement check to live on, I can't afford this. I also was told that my premiums are going to increase again this July. Whatever it takes, I say go for it.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  24. Jim M.

    Geez Jack, nice wording of the question.......you think people like anything "rammed". NO! But that isn't what the senate is doing......the democrats in the senate PASSED their healthcare bill with 60 votes, they are merely REFINING the bill to eliminate portions objectionable to the house. Frank Luntz would be proud of the wording of the question though. "Ram" Yeaaaaaaaaa that will stir the tea.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  25. jeannne

    Yes Jack, it's time for the dems to do what we elected them to do,

    February 26, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  26. Mark Cowan

    Jack, I think its time the Democrates just do it. regardless of the whining that Republicans have done for the past year, they have had many opportunities to come up with meaningful proposals to overhaul our medical care system and only come up with a few pitiful ideas whach don't even come close to making the changes we need. I have worked in Healthcare as a practitioner and administrator for over thirty years and can tell you the system doesn not work very well and has gotten worse ever since the private insurance corp. got control. We do not have the best health care system in the world as many Republicans keep trying to convince us, we have some of the best Doctors and hospitals, but only the priveldged (or rich foriegners) get those services. We have a higher death rate of newborns and shorter life expectancy than canada. and seven other countries who spend half what we spend on health care. Obama's plan is a good start. I'm a registered Rebublican but its time for Republicans to get on board or get out of the way. mark-Republican in PA.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  27. Bill Fleming

    Ram!? Common sense dictates that with an N of 100, 51 is a majority, not 60. That is, unless you ignore what the words “majority” and “minority” mean; you ignore what “majority rules” means; and you ignore what “rational” means in the phrase “rational discourse."

    February 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  28. Al, Lawrence KS

    RAM THROUGH...seriously, did you just regurgitate the Republican talking points. We have had a year long discussion beginning in the primaries, through the elections, in committees, in town halls, in the media, on the House and Senate floors, and yes even on CNN and CSPAN. A bill has passed both the House and the Senate. A 51 vote majority now is hardly ramming it through. It is, in fact, the end of a long and purely American democratic process. Ram it through indeed.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  29. Sid Holmes

    Jack,
    I'am one of those middle management people who lost there job,my insurance will expire very soon and I have pre-existing conditions and will not be able to be insured or can not afford the premiums.It is about time our goverment wakes up and does the correct thing. Yes , they need to get it done and not wait years to put into action.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  30. albert

    thats easy hell yes

    February 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  31. Joan Gilbert-Croteau

    Yes Jack, President Obama, the House and Senate Democrats should now focus on pushing healthcare reform as soon as possible.

    After watching the summit yesterday, there is no doubt in my mind the republican side of the isle is stuck so deep in the pockets of the insurance lobby that they don't give a dam how Americans are suffering in this country. They and the insurance industry are the reason Washington is broken.

    Joann from Maine

    February 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  32. Richard Lazarchuck

    The government cannot see the forest for the trrees. I am 66 years old and on MEDICARE. I have no problems with that system. Why can't the government open up MEDICARE to everyone under 65 who qualify.

    Do the MATH for premiums and thus MEDICURE is born. Is that so difficult????????????

    We will then have MEDICAID MEDICARE and MEDICURE

    Richard.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  33. Loren, Chicago

    No, bu they will. The shortsightedness of Congress knows no bounds. They are willing to impose trillions in costs on future generations to secure campaign donations, without a thought of whether it will mean they can be reelected. The so-called Health Care Reform has become one of Washington's biggest boondoggles ever. What fools these Congressmen be.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  34. yvonne

    Nashville tn.
    this is our future-it has become a game for politicians. They are all so out of touch, how can they possibly relate to us out here in the real world.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Fuzzbee Morse from Los Angeles

    Absolutely. The Republicans have had the pedal down to the floor on the filibuster to extreme, runaway, Toyota-like damage levels. This abuse of what should be a rarely used tactic has upset the system of checks and balances.

    Obama ran on health care reform as one of his central goals. He won the election easily. The majority vote should rule, certainly in this case. Remember when the Vice President's vote would break a 50-50 tie? Am I hallucinating, or did most crucial votes in America's past depend on a simple majority?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  36. Jim Sluder

    Absolutely! We overwhelmingly hired our President to get the job of transforming healthcare accomplished. The republicans have had there chance and done absolutely nothing. You have guys like John Boehner, who is either a liar or ignorant or both, when he says America has the best healthcare system in the world and we don't need to change it. He is an out and out liar and he knows it and I would challenge him face to face over this if he had the courage to step up to the American public and and answer questions truthfully. They are punks. Just like the bully on the playground. So treat them like the children they imlate and put them in the corner andtell them to hut up. Then get this thing done.

    Jim in College Station, TX

    February 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  37. Lynn, Jefferson City

    "Ram" healthcare reform through? Somebody's bias is showing. How do you "ram" legislation through that passed both houses of Congress? We've listened to the party of NO and Start Over. Their ideas are represented in the legislation. None of the Americans who died while Republicans were sayig NO to keep President Obama from succeeding can start over. Ram it through? No! Pass it with lightening speed with a 51 vote MAJORITY? Hell Yes!

    February 26, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  38. Rick McDaniel

    No. The bill is very unpopular with the public, and mostly benefits the special interests in the health industry. Totally wrong to pass this bill. More than enough Dems recognize the issues with this bill, also, and refuse to support it.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  39. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Actually Jack I believe the American people should go on strike against the insurance companies and not pay any premiums or bills for the next 6 months. This would bring them to their knees and we would see instant reform without all of the government involvement. This would mean that everyone except government employees would be uninsured. Sometimes drastic situations require drastic action.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  40. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Yes, I always thought a majority was 50%, not the 60% the republicans have been harping on for so long and I guess the main question is: Will health care reform help a majority of Americans or will starting over and probably doing nothing help more people?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  41. Mike (Iowa)

    Jack: Without attacking either political party, I think the answer is yes. We need to do something becaue the present situation is such a mess. If the only way to get health care passed is without the Republicans then do it. It is not an kdeal situation but it is better then keeping the present medical situation which is so harmful to so many Americans.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  42. A I Morgan

    Atlanta, GA yes and work out the rest later, republicans are playing the if you don't do it my way I'll take my marbles and go home. I need the public option worked out.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  43. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This is the only way to get something moving so Yes. This issue will continue for another 60 years until someone steps up to the plate and does something, the sooner the better. Can you afford a 39% increase in all of your expenses?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  44. Clarence Winston

    Yes, the Republicans
    want the Democrats to throw away their plan and start over again.Which means another year of back and forth while Americans are still suffering.They still get to keep the best plan out there.We elected these jerks to work for us.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  45. Zack Austin, Texas

    Yes because the Republicans do not have enough guts to do what is needed.

    Just think about it, as more US citizens lose their health insurance, medical providers must increase their fees for those that have insurance which in turns results in greater premiums. Soon only the very rich will be able to afford health insurnace

    February 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  46. Ann from Hampton, NJ

    If they did not think they were in trouble with the American people before, this will put the nail on their coffins come election time. Can't they get it through their egotistical heads that we do not want the health care bill as it now stands?

    February 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  47. Bev

    Yes they should ram it through. If the other party ever gets in office again, we will never get Health Care. They have had many years to pass it. They would rather have tax cuts for the rich.
    Bring it on and let them filibuster. they will get tired of it, plus Beaner won't be able to go to his tanning bed.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  48. Donald Ainsworth

    I think they should Jack, if they can muster that many votes among themselves! The Republicans will just sit back & tell lies about any plan. The American people are confused about the plan, as I am. Anything would be better than nothing and we can sort it out later, as we have to do that with most bills Congress passes! Don from Wapakoneta, Ohio

    February 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  49. Mike Crockett, TX

    YES!!!!!

    What do they think we elected them to do? Stop beating around the bush (no pun intended) and do the people's business.

    If they think they might loose the 2010 elections by offending the Republicans, they most deffinatly don't want to offend those of us who sent them to Washington to do our business.

    Stop listening to the Republican bloviators and get on with health care reform.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  50. O.Gonzalez

    Sure all the republican have the pockets full of money from the linsurance lobbyst and other fat cats.They forget when all vote for the war againt Iraq,but the nuclear and chemical weapons never appears.All the money going to the military contractors(Hallybrton too)So not push for political gain,do something for american people.try to be honest one time.
    O Gonzalez
    Independant NJ

    February 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  51. Mark Easton, PA

    It was interesting to witness that, when President Obama summoned the Parties to attend the health insurance reform summit, and to bring fresh ideas and strategies; Eric Cantor brought two thousand and some pages of the Democrats ideas, and House Minority leader John Boehner (R) submitted a 'a blank sheet of paper'.

    Lemon with your Tea?

    February 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  52. David Sisters OR

    Yes, it's a start and once they break the ice they can work on the things they really want over the next few years. This has to be done!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  53. honestjohn in Vermont

    There will be very little real healthcare reform, just window dressing to make themselves feel good.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  54. gord ontario

    a big yes

    February 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Andy in Sellersville PA

    Yes, yes, yes!!! The Republicans spout their same old talking points (Eric Kantor even brought his 'prop'!), and the Dems have been incredible wimps about this whole thing. BTW, why was Congressman Weiner not at Blair House? He could have added some firepower to the discussion!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  56. elizabeth

    Yes. Even if they started over and all of their suggestions were included, Republicans still would not support revising health care, because the truth is that they don't care about health care, they only care about defeating the Democrats in November. We have a one-party government who cares enough about the people they govern to reach out and be rejected repeatedly. Republicans richly deserve to be known at the party of "No." However, the media also deserve blame for turning every idea or suggestion into a political contest.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  57. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, yes they should. Right up the 49 that won't cooperate and get a decent bill to the President for signature.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  58. rory

    That will be the only way it gets done

    February 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  59. Jason, Koloa Kauai

    I have a better idea Jack, why don't we try to ram the Senate through a brick wall head first and see if 51 of them make it to the otherside without needing healthcare.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  60. Mark

    The Dems couln't RAM anything through if they had 100 votes, Jack. They would find something to argue with amongst themselves if nothing else.

    Mark
    OKC

    February 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  61. keno, NJ

    They should only ram it through with 51 votes if it includes a public option, tort reform, removes the antitrust exemption and freezes premiums immediately until the bill goes into effect in 2014. If not then start over.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  62. Linda - Muncie, IN

    Congress used the reconciliation process in the past to pass COBRA and CHIPS, both health care programs, So, yes, it's time to get it done. Don't think for a moment that the Republicans wouldn't use that option if they were in the majority. If they want comprimise, we'll only use 'Death Panels' on the Republicans. How's that?

    February 26, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  63. bill

    Why not. Not that I really know or like whats in the health care bill. The GOP did the same thing to pass the tax cuts that started us on this road of dept. Jokers on the right, clowns on the left, Its all the same we in the middle lose while the jokers and clowns get rich

    February 26, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  64. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, the Republicans aren't going to play ball with President Obama on Health Care. Any noise they make about starting over is just a ploy to avoid passing any legislation until the elections in November, when they hope to gain enough seats to avoid having to do anything. While I don't like all the aspects of the Health Care package, I think the Democrats need to act now, or our grandchildren are going to be discussing this same issue 40 years down the road.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  65. Jack in Boynton Beach FL

    The Dems should not try but should absolutely ram health care reform through by the reconciliation process just as the tax cuts were by the Bushies in their heyday. The health care bill is imperfect because it was intended to be that way in order to destroy it. It is only a start to solve the health care mess created by the insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical professions. It will be the first step in the congress finally doing something for the people instead of their financial friends.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  66. Arlene, Illinois

    Why not, with all tha hate coming from the Republicans and
    always saying no to everything its about time the Democrates
    get a little backbone and do something.
    And about yesterday's health summit, Peter Roskim from
    DuPage county in Illinois said he heard from his people they
    want the health bill killed, well I'm from his district and I don't hear
    anything of the same nature.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  67. Wayne in PA

    I feel Americas debt is out of control. One party says the health care bill will make the debt higher the the other party says the debt will go higher with out the bill. I'm sorry to say I don't trust either party. I know when I see a jar with a picture of a young child that that needs a life saving operation, and has no insurance, I give as much as I can. I know they cant just go to the emergency room.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  68. Jeff in Houston, Texas

    Yes. They should try to accomplish as much as possible before the Republicans firghten the ignorant masses in to voting for them again.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  69. Russ in PA

    Of course they shouldn't pass it. What gives them the right to meddle in the free market? Nothing. What give them the right to tax me if I choose a plan contrary to theirs? Nothing. What gives them the right to think to think the those that choose not to purchase insurance need a bail out? Nothing.

    Return to the Constitution and free markets; there is no other solution.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  70. mike ca

    Oh yea
    With reguards to the GOP I think President Obama should put his foot where the sun don't shine.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  71. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, my answer is "NO"! This bill is going to cost upwards of $3T and most of it is deficit spending disguised by smoke and mirrors of the democrats creative funding tricks. The country cannot afford this blantantly socialistic, huge, entitlement bill. The democrats are NOT reforming anything, they are simply forcing the working taxpayers to pay for welfare health care.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  72. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    No, they need to start over from scratch and do it right this time. Open the doors and let everyone see what they are doing. We have waited this long for affordable health care. We can wait a while longer for the people on the hill to do it right. That is what the President should be saying. Not hurrying this mess through. $950 billion, is he joking??

    February 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  73. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Not without a public option or a Medicare buy-in, Jack. Otherwise, they'll just be forcing Americans to buy coverage they can't afford while subsidizing the profits of the creeps who got us in this mess.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  74. Donna Wisconsin

    Shame on you, Jack! You make that sound like Republicans never did such a thing! How quickly we forget over the years how many times BOTH parties when in power have used the reconciliation vote! In 2003 Bush and his Republican controled Congress pushed thru all those tax cuts for the wealthy! So YES! I am sick of trying to appease the Republicans. Democrats and Independents sent the Democrats to Congress to get Healthcare DONE!! Do It NOW!!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  75. calvin

    Why not. this is the same thing repubican would do if they had the numbers. The goverment could care less about the working people of the U S this whole goverment is so bad i do not know if it could be fixed.
    we as american can only start now to never vote for any one who has held office for the last 30 years. every one there has been paid off so short of a new american revolt this is our only way to change them.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  76. K

    I have given up hope that anything will be done by our elected nonrepresentatives that will benefit the people they are supposed to be representing. Why should they do anything to help us–they have their 6 figure salary, guaranteed pension, the special interests lining their pockets?

    February 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  77. hubie nel [Marshall MS]

    Yes Jack that the only way are going to insurance for
    millions americans.

    GOP don't gives a dam about poor peoples. They probably don't cares nothing about Jack......

    February 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  78. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    No Jack they shouldn't,
    Now is not the time to try to "ram" a health care bill through Congress when the Democrats are not sure if they will have the 51 votes needed. Besides, the focus in Washington has shifted to "getting re-elected" mode and I'm sure we'll be seeing members of Congress out on the campaign trail and not in Washington. I've said it before and I'll say it again, – Term Limits!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  79. Rich

    YES! The Republicans have been given every chance to seriously participate and haven't. They spent most of yesterday stating over an over that the bill needs to be scrapped and they'll participate if everyone starts over. I certainly don't want another year of Health Care discussions.

    I would guess that over 90% of the Republican constituency has Health Insurance, so why would they vote for the cost of providing insurance to 30 million uninsured. That is where to cost of reform comes from.

    Lets get on with it.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  80. Bobby

    Why not? It's legal. Is the government so broken that they can't do something that will help save peoples' lives if the opposition is being paid hundreds of thousand of dollars by insurance companies to stop it from being passed?

    February 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  81. JENNA

    Should Democrats try to ram health care reform through the Senate with 51 votes?

    Why call it "ram"? It's not like the Democrats have not bent over backwards to get the GOP to work with them. Heck they put in over 200 Amendments that asked for, like tort reform..

    Keep in mind that since 1980 there have been 22 bills passed by reconciliation and out of the 22, 16 were from the GOP. Bills like giving tax credits to the wealthy, unfunded Medicare Advantage, the Contract for America..etc..

    And the first thing that Lamar Alexander asked the president was to promise NOT to use reconciliation to pass Health Care Reform..

    The GOP has NO INTEREST in working with Democrats to provide Health Care for Americans!

    I say pass the Health Care Reform Act and add back in a Strong Public Option under reconciliation!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  82. Dr. Jim Farrow (New Orleans)

    Absolutely! We've wasted enough time as it is. Let's just do it. It will be good for the country.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  83. Joe CE

    Dems should put he pending Bill on hold and introduce a new Bill that the Republicans will agree to cosponsor. If this does not workout, ten pass the pending Bill with 51 votes. If it does workout, they shoud modihy the penging Bill to incorporate the changes and see if the GOP wants to fullisbuster. Either senario would boost the Dems in the next election.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  84. Gayle McCoy

    The hypocracy of those at the summit who were unwilling to compromise and work for even basic health care for all americans who need it is outrageous! There they sat with the best health care money can buy – our money I might add – bent the facts to deny the President the ability to move productively forward. We need more of these televised meetings so the country can see how broken our government really is. Where is their shame?

    February 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  85. Jim Abaham

    I'm an Obama supporter and believe that the leadership of both parties in both Houses of Congress are being very childish. They all are playing the school yard bully. The Democrats we don't care what you want we're going to play the game the way we want, and the Republicans are saying if you don't play the game we want we're going to go home and no one will play.

    The truth is I wish they'd all go home (resign) and we could hold special elections to elect representatives (Senators & Representatives) who have the good of the entire country as their foremost objective. We couldn't do any worse than electing 2nd & 3rd graders to Congress; in fact we'd do considerably better with them because they still know how to play in the sandbox like good kids.

    The good part of the upcoming election is that all of the House stands for re-election and should all be voted out. The bad part is that at least two-thirds of the Senate will still be in office.

    If they don't learn to play together soon and very soon they are going to bankrupt the citizens of this country because of their lack of action on the health care situation. It's to bad the they don't have to deal with the insurance companies like those citizens who have insurance do. They wouldn't be so concerned with the government making health decisions it couldn't be any worse than what the insurance companies do now!!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  86. Sean, Annapolis, MD

    The summit was not kabuki theater. Rather, it demonstrated politically motivated intransigence, most notably on the GOP side of the aisle, on the issues facing America. Tough decisions need to be made and starting over on this and other issues is stalling the economic recovery. If the obstructionists flip-flop, refuse to participate or are ineffective in working with the majority to amend legislation for the "general welfare," then Democrats should take the vote. Healthy opposition is different than opposition its own sake. I'll let my independent vote speak later for those that have a spine in 2010.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  87. Michael Robinson

    Yes, The people need it.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  88. Chris Calderbank

    $40,000.00 average income people could never and will never get health insurance unless compassion rules.

    We need a common ground health plan including catastophe coverage.
    We give it to all the people in the Federal government and local Government, armed forces, Police forces, Postal services, even road services.
    If our taxes pay the way for them to get good care, then the ordinary man in the steet that put them there, pays for them to stay there should also get the same.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  89. Frank Guarino

    Jack,
    As much as I think we need to solve the health care issue (and of course we have spent almost 13 months on the issue), I think using the reconciliation process is the wrong approach. I watched a couple of hours yesterday and it is clear to me that a piecemeal approach or a step by step approach won't work. However, I listened closely to the republicans (not their talking points) and I believe a better bill can be drafted.

    Frank

    p.s. I have good health care because my wife retired from a fortune 500 company one year ago. The cost this year went up 25%

    February 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  90. Nancy Rost

    I don't know it this is the place to voice my opinion, but it's the best I can find withl imited and impaired eyesight.
    I am disgusted with our politicians in Washington. They are a do nothing set of elected officials, whether Democrats or Re0ublicans. They are not doing the job they were sent to Washington to do. It's my opinion that as soon as they get elected, the first thing they do is vote themselves a raise, then they spend the rest of their term cultivating friends who will spport them and help them raise funds for their relection so they can continue to live the fat-cat life in Washington on MY DIME! This is outrageous. I think it is time to systematically v ote ALL iimcumbants out of office and start fresh. This will take some time, but perhaps when enough of them don't get relectged, they will wake up. They just don't GET IT.
    N Rost

    February 26, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  91. james

    Yes I think the president should. It is shameful that those republicans refuse to come to a middle ground. It shows how screwed up and political those stubborn old senior citizen leaders of the congress are!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  92. docb

    Something must be done ...Intractable on both sides but we have out of control Healthcare corporate profits -we are 37th in the World on the delivery of Healthcare, hospitals are going out of business, Doctors are quitting–we even have a few running to Congress as exhibited by the misinformation by Coburn, Ryan, Lbarrasco at the Summit yesterday!

    Think this is what is needed:

    The Democrats hold up a BLANK PIECE OF PAPER AND SAY-SO _THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN PLAN FOR YOUR HEALTHCARE- Wonder how the 30 million uninsured and the 45,000 who will die this year feel about this!!

    Or the insured ones who have had their premiums rise up to 45%!

    Do something or get out!–Well they need to get out anyway–all incumbents that have been in office over one term!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  93. Clint

    Absolutely, this country needs comprehensive health care reform and it is obvious the republicans will try to block anything the dems endorse (even if it was the GOPS idea). The only reel problem that I have seen with our new administration is that Obama tries to play nice in Washington; that simply doesn’t work. If no GOPs will climb on board, Obama needs to take a page out of Bush’s handbook and ram it down the opposition’s throat. We voted for dems to take the reigns, it is time for them to step up and lead.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  94. Freedom Lover

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! Obama is the President.... NOT an AUTOCRAT..... or is he???
    That is an underhanded tactic used by the weak when they know they can't lead, and are afraid of losing. We don't want any of that socialistic stuff here in the United States.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  95. Michael G Tampa, FL

    Jack,
    Both the House and the Senate passed versions of this bill.
    Yes, they should be working together to pass a bill now.
    No, they should not start over.
    Yes, they need to include a public option.
    By the way, it's irrelevant whether any in Congress are running for re-election. I'm never voting for another incumbent ever again.
    Career politicians are the second biggest problem facing the United States.
    If we get them all out of office every election, there won't be any more favor voting going on, and campaign contributions will be reduced because no one will be pandering to get re-elected......
    Term limits by the people, for the people.
    Simple and effective Jack.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  96. Michael from Ft. Hood, Texas

    I follow the motto....All is fair in love and war. And this is definitely war. Let the Democrats stand up for all Americans instead of those the GOP panders to. Those with INC. and CO. in their last names.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  97. David from Northern Virginia

    They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. But yes, I'd like to see politicians show a little courage once in awhile and do what they think is right.

    If we don't do something about escalating medical costs, we're done. This is our last best chance.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  98. Michael G Tampa, FL

    Jack,

    Why aren't you asking more important questions ?

    The only way to save the American Dream is
    to vote every incumbent out of every office in every election
    whether local school board, county, state, or federal position.....

    The Founding Fathers purposed elected office holders to serve one term and then GO HOME.
    Career politicians are destroying America.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  99. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    Jack the question is unnecessary. The Dems. already decided to ram it down, I feel so bad having supported Obama a total mistake.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  100. Douglas

    If they dont put something on obamas desk to sign they will look like the biggest wimps. At least with bush could keep his party in check . obama needs to start pulling rank or rattling some skeletons in washington playing nice up there he is getting clobbered.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  101. ben in Maryland

    The Republicans showed once agin that their motto is: if you cannot afford health care, then you have to go without. Heartless and greedy. The pity is no one has asked that every American should have the same rights and access to health care as the pigs on Capitol Hill

    February 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  102. mary---from missouri

    Never wrote before- but I had to add a comment to yesterday tv debate.
    The clown of the day was old Mitch from Ky who was keeping time on who had more minutes. I am sure he was absorbing what was being debated. Reminded be of a small child " you got a bigger piece of candy than me" How sad for our country to elect such small people

    February 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  103. Gassim Bah

    Jack, how many times have you taken a short cut in your life to achieve what you want? The republicans have used this in the past, don’t they? Remember Tax cuts with Pre. Bush? So how dare the Republicans blame the Democrats? I still want to know Jack your records?
    If that’s what the reconciliation is there for, so damn it, Jam it through the senate.
    From Tokyo, Japan

    February 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  104. Terry in Texas

    I'd love to see them ram it through and then just go home. Where the voters will send them if they do. WE don't want what they're selling. They say our problems is we don't understand. Their problem is that we do. Go ahead. Make our day.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  105. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Absolutely not. The Dems know people don't want this kind of change and are trying to abuse the rules to accomplish thier misguided agenda. Healthcare doesn't have the votes, nor should it a presently conceived. Reconciliation was not meant for landscape altering legislation. This bill needs to stand on its own, in its entirety and be voted on. The dems don't want to be faced with the prospect that they had their chance in 2009 to accomplish anything they wanted, but they botched the whole thing and instead did nothing except pass a stimulus that was such a catastrophic failure they don't want to even mention the world "stimulus". Now they are calling the next bill a "jobs" bill. These guys are out of control and destroying our country. We need real change. We need term limits the same as the President and get rid of these career politicians on both sides of the aisle.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  106. brett mullins Phoenix,Az

    Jack,
    I wish they would ram it through,if it don't work they can fix it later. Congress did the same thing for social security in the 1930's snd medicare in the 1960'. The retired people are not complaining about their benefits.
    BRETT MULLINS
    PHOENIX, AZ

    February 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  107. Eric from Toronto

    I think it says a lot about the current level of political discourse that passing a bill by a simple majority vote is now considered "ramming it through".

    February 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  108. BM

    I think the Republicans are a bunch of rich old farts who cannot and do not care about people who are struggling to make ends meet. Maybe they should try exchanging laces with everyday people. Of course they think healthcare is a priviledge because they get good healthcare. The real deal is that they are in the pockets of lobbyist and insurance companies and last but not least, they don't want Obama to be given credit for changing peoples lives.I think they need to start over by retreating to a nursing home,especially Mitch and John McCain, who is obviously very bitter with Obama. He is mad with the whole world because he wasn't voted in and is out to punish all those people who didn't vote for him. Beoner is a did-heart racist. It shows all over his face and actions.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Peter Lepper

    Yes the republicans will never come to the table. there was an election and as bush said "elections have consequences". Stop dithering and pass national health care for all.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  110. Tommy in Texas

    Why is reconciliation called "ramming legislation through" only when Dems use it? I sure don't recall the GOP shying away from a 51 vote majority when they held the power.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  111. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    It would be a bad move by the Democrats to try and ram health care reform through the Senate with only 51 votes. What's more important, getting the health care reform bill as close to right as possible, or getting re-elected? Because from what I've seen, and heard, our elected officals have a long way to go before the health care reform bill should be voted on.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  112. Albert K., Los Anegles

    Political theater Jack? No, McCain’s brooding over the past caused Obama to declare “The election is over," turning the summit into an encounter-session for Republicans. After a year of tantrums at town halls, yelling at our President during Congressional speeches, and abusing the filibuster like a defiant spoiled brat they finally have to face their dark miserable reality, they lost, the majority rules and the health care reconciliation vote will be their Waterloo.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  113. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    To do what you do not want to do because of possible consequences but know is right is courage.

    If Congress believes that this health reform bill is right for the people, and not just for interested corporations, then have some courage and blast the s.o.b. through.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  114. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    Go for it Democrats! But, beware! Once you begin this mission the Republicans gain all the advantage in November!

    The American people do not want this legislation in it's current 2400 page version!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  115. Cody

    Instead of the Democrats throwing away their bill and taking "baby steps" over the next two years to pass health legislation, like the Republicans want to do, the Democrats should just pass their bill through reconciliation.

    Then let the Republicans spend the next two years taking "baby steps" to try to change it.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  116. kevin

    Yes Jack, they should. The republican party is going to do everything they possibly can to stop this from happening. They do not want everyone to be equal, never have. The main objective is to protect their wealth and you can't keep your money if you have to help people. The jackass from south carolina let the cat out of the bag when he opened his mouth about feeding and helping poor people because they breed, they all think this very samething he just let it slip out.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  117. Kevin

    Ram is such a rough word Jack, The GOP has and continue to lie through their teeth; scaring the elderly and acting like they know what we want and...no shame. And who are these "American People" the GOP keeps refering to? Everyone I know wants HC to be affordable above all and all we see is the industry cranking it up, getting all they can get...they know it;s coming one way or the other. So, that being said; RAM BABY RAM!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Liz, Los Angeles, CA

    The Dems are gonna do anything - anything - to get this sick puppy off their table and into the lap of the American taxpayer - "out of sight out of mind mentality". But the puppy will grow into a monster dog with really big teeth really soon. What about that concept don't they GET??

    February 26, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Ben from Boston

    Jack,

    I am a Democrat that voted for Scott Brown to stop the current health care bills. I want health care reform but one step at a time, without a trillion dollar price tag, and without a major expansion of the federal government. I am against ramming it through and will vote against any elected official that votes for it via reconciliation - and I vote in every election.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  120. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    No, reconciliation should not be used. These politicans are always bending the rules to their own liking. There most certainly would be a mjor backlash if they employ this technique. The public has had enough. Look at all the problems the politicans have caused us already. Don't cram a health care bill down our throats that we don't even like or want.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  121. Tony from SOuthport

    If they feel like committing suicide, why should anyone try to stop them?

    The polls say the American people don't want the current 2,000+ page bill, moderate Democrats and all Republicans are against the cureent bill, and people are more worried about the economy and jobs, than trillions of dollars in debt to insure 30 million more people, many of whom prefer NOT to buy coverage.

    So why not? Ram it through. I have heard the statement " Ram it down our throats now and we'll shove it up you donkey in November."

    February 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  122. Cody

    The Republican talking points are that passing legislation with 51 votes in the Senate is "ramming it through."

    In a democracy, though, 51 votes out of 100 is just majority rule.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  123. c rog

    absolutley not – the Demorats should resign first before they attempt jamming the bill through reconcilaition. It would prove they don't listen to their constituents. Work hard on a bi-partisan approach that costs much less. Rest assured if the Democrats take this approach the Republicans would win the mid-term elections in a landslide and first efforts would be to undue this irresponsible legislation

    February 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  124. Darryl from Lake Forest Ca

    Yes! “What we have here is failure to communicate.” We need healthcare reform with or with out the republicans.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  125. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    They've been working on this for over a year, so I wouldn't exactly call it ramming. They should do something since the insurance agencies are out of control and the filibuster is so abused.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  126. Kevin,FL

    Before the Dems get to "RAMMING" anything..........How About a Bill to Mandate against Companies hiring cheap labor or filling training classes (thus recieving bonuses that encourage them to lay off Permanant Workers). After all No Jobs = No Ability to pay Taxes for ANYTHING let alone Healthcare Reform. Heres a ? Are our "Leaders" any smarter than 5th Graders? Seems NOT.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  127. Dennis North Carolina

    we need to see something come out of congress. if it is legal than we the people are receiving our moneys worth. you can not keep saying no to the people.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  128. Louis Fleece

    Butch F.
    Richmond Va.

    Democrats need to grow a set. Present this legislation for the benefit of the people rather than the destruction of other places and know that the numbers of people that will benefit will vote and that majority will vote them and their opponents in or out based on what has benefited them. Are the Democrats really on our side? Are they being bought or physically threatened? Some of the Democrats must be Republicans in Democrat’s clothes.

    Why is abortion even in the conversation? It is a common sense issue. The sale of adult products to minors is illegal, so why is there a question about an abortion? When health issues are present it should be covered just like other conditions otherwise adults should pay for their own. If not the first definitely any subsequent occurrences.

    If this initiative is not accomplished it is because they ruling class already has excellent coverage. They won’t do anything that will have a negative impact on the bottom line of those that prosper through the businesses in the health industry.

    Status quo.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  129. David A Hintz

    Absolutely if there is no movement by the Republicans. It amazes me to hear the Republicans pontificate in ways that are morally and ethically bankrupt. Their behavior is despicable and a danger to viablility of our society.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  130. Kevin,FL

    Any Bill for Healthcare just needs these SIMPLE Changes.......1. Decent Healthcare for Hard Working and Lower Income Americans ...and LEGAL Immigrants ONLY. 2. If I own firearms Lawfully and/or Hunt , its NOT my Doctors Business. 3. Taxpayer money should Not be used for Abortions , but if I choose to have one ..its None of Anyone ELSES Business. And finally, Although Doctors are wonderfully TALENTED , and Insurance Companies need money ........2,000,000 should not be the annual Premium /Salary while so many other Good Americans cant even pay the Grocery Bill.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  131. Ron

    They should not ram anything through anything. What they should do is to give everyone the same coverage that they have. If they do ram it through they should have to take the same coverage is what they will to give the rest of us. They "all" talk with forked tongue. It is about time we change "all" of them with term limits and maybe we will get change.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  132. Ken from Maryland

    Yes. Most health care bills in the nation's history were passed via reconciliation. What makes this one any different? Republicans have passed tax cuts for the rich and an un-paid-for medicare prescription drug plan via reconciliation. Now all of a sudden they think passing something by the same means is unconstitutional? Politics.

    End the fillibuster (which the Constitution doesn't even mention) and they wouldn't need to use reconciliation. Majority rule would return to the Senate, just like every other lawmaking body uses. That's democracy.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  133. Steve Canada

    Yes, it is a tool yhat has been used many many times...by both parties!!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  134. C.H.

    Once you've had serious health problems in your family, as I have, you don't really care how they get it done. I have never in my life wittnessed so many greed driven doctors who put their profit over patients care. It really sickens my stomach, and really pushes me on the side of the Democrats. My Republican friends are so scared that illegals are going to capatilize on any priviledges, and not wanting to see Obama succeed, that they fail to realize that they are holding back, or trying to stop, the care for so many hurting Americans. This attitude has got to change. So, as bad as hate to say it. RAM IT THROUGH, and lets get on with the other business at hand, and stop focusing on putting down Obama.
    C.H.
    Longview, Texas

    February 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  135. Tom Ratcliff

    Jack,
    Ram Healthcare reform through?
    Yes.....at Turbo Speed!!! We took the banking industry off the leash and they ran away with trillions of our dollars. The Insurance industry is doing the same thing.
    I'm all for Capitalism but not IMMORAL GREED, GREED, AND MORE GREED!
    The GOP is has left "The Planet of Reason"....it's all about revenge and a vile dislike of Obama and the Dems. They are blinded by their own hatred and, again, their own GREED.
    Screw the GOP and save us Americans who have "Earned" the Right to affordable healthcare.
    Obama is not perfect, but he is making an effort to level of the playing field. Could you even imagine where we would be today if McCain and Palin were in charge??? Too scary even to think about.
    Tom from Orlando

    February 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  136. Dave

    This is not the time for higher taxes on the American people. Our country can not afford another two trillion in debit and will lead to national bankruptcy. This is common sense and the people of this country do not want it. There will be such a political back lash such as our country has never seen and the Democrats will never hold the majority in congress.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  137. Ryan- Galesburg, IL

    Yes, yes, yes. The Republicans won't come to the table because they want the President to fail (and apparently America too). Meanwhile, 60% of Americans want the public option included in any reform, but Congress is too busy representing their corporate underwriters.

    Reconciliation is fair game, despite what the pundits say, and we need help now.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  138. Tom D

    If you have any social conscience you want to help the 30+ million without insurance.
    If you make less that $100,000 family income you want the help the 30+ million without insurance even though you know you're probably going to pay for part of it.
    If you have a lobbyist or corporate CEO on speed dial you probably make more that $250,000 per year, you probably only care about yourself and you are part of the very outspoken minority that wants to wait until "better times" to do something.
    I say there will never be a better time than now to make a sweeping change. I hope Congress has the courage to lead this country and do what's right. Pass the damn bill!
    Hey and I'm a Republican..

    February 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  139. Marguerite Albarano

    You bet. Playing nice hasn't worked so the need for whatever it takes has arrived. My health – the essential element necessary for life itself – is not a commodity and I resent those obscene profits being made by the insurance companies. Also, the fall-out from such reform will result in lower crime rates; if you don't believe that, take a look at the low crime rates in those countries with universal health-care.
    Malba from Duncansville, PA

    February 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  140. Michael (Canada)

    Jack, you know very well that you are mis-representing the situation! It's already been well documented about how many times reconcilliation has been used and which party has used this procedure the most. When did CNN become a susidiary of FOX news? Last time I checked, 51-49 was a majority. George W. was elected with less!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  141. Tim in Texas

    Wrong, Jackie – my old curmudgeonly friend. The dems would not be "jamming through" anything by using reconciliation. Bills have passed both houses. The House would pass the Senate bill, and all that would be done through reconciliation would be the small fixes to achieve compromise between the the two bills. And that's not "jamming through" anything. Most of what would be in the 'fixes' would be things like eliminating the deal made with Ben Nelson. It's brilliant, and they should do it asap.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  142. James in Idaho

    Jack, I'll answer your question with a question...
    Had the republicans not used reconciliation to grant tax cuts to the super wealthy and then reconcilliation again to protect that tax cut for the super wealthy, would the dems have needed reconcilliation to recoup some of that money that should have gone to helping fix healthcare in the first place?

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  143. Joe

    Jack,

    Since 1980, to my knowledge there are 22 Reconciliations done by Congress. At least 16 Reconciliations were by REPUBLICANS.

    When we talk about the Democrats "ramming" legislation. How about saying the Republicans are "Jamming" the DAM to prevent a natural flow of water or health care for all Americans.

    Perhaps if the members of Congress were to lose their health care, then they would think twice?

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  144. KG, Twin Cities, MN

    People are dying in the greatest country in the world. Some have health insurance, some don't. We need something better. Reconcilliation is the start.

    Health Insurance Employee

    February 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  145. Pat

    What is really said is that a health care bill would have been passed if the Dems could agree with themselves. They had enough members to pass any bill they wanted to with no help from the Repubs. The Dems could not do that. So now they are scrambling to get some bill through with reconciliation. This is sad. They could have done this before without using reconciliation.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  146. CRinVegas

    They should absolutely ram it through. Most of the public is totally confused at this point and do not know what they want. They'll kick and scream for awhile, but then realize any health reform bill is better than none. At least if one exists, it can be modified at a later date. For example, Social Security as it is today bears little resemblance to the original that was passed in Roosevelt's day. I say, get out the battering ram.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  147. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    They will ram it, shove it, shovel it, stick it to us anyway they can because the demoncrats need to show progress, VICTORY !, the taxpayer be damned. Then we vote the republicans back in! It will be desha-screwed all over again.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  148. Layne Alleman

    Jack, The bill is DEAD, shred the stinking mess and get to the next voteless disaster. They should at the very least, make it appear that they're trying to get SOMETHING done. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  149. Jon

    Obama should explain why "deficit neutral" for health care means 10 years of paying for it, but only 4 years of receiving its benefits.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  150. Angry in Texas, Grand Prairie Tx

    In a word NO the Dems should NOT ram thru this bill. They have done enough damage to any confidence America may have left in government with their sweetheart deals to states and labor unions. Their own party cannot stomach the fallout from it.

    I listened with great interest to most yesterday's come to Jesus meeting. The Republicans tried to state their reasons for opposition only to be cut off by American's first dictator. I observed his anger, his arrogance and watched with my jaw dropping as he informed McCain that "the campaign" was over. REALLY? Just what has Obama been doing if NOT campaigining. I won you lost...he won America lost and if we are not careful we will loose our freedoms all together.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  151. Ann Thaxter

    It is so obvious that Obama is feverishly working to "socialize" America. One can only wonder if Obama and his "progressive" cronies believe that his Healthcare plan will be the tipping point.......or the lynch pin to bring down our economy....and then he can proceed to revolutionize our country to Socialism? Why else would he promote such an expensive, destructive and ill- advised plan?

    Ann

    February 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  152. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    They couldn't ram anything through even with 60 or 70 votes. Congress is not in the business of doing the people's business, they are in the business of protecting their own personal financial positions. The only thing they ever ram through,are pay raises or benefit increases for themselves.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  153. George in Canada

    Yes Jack. Last time I did math 51 was a majority. O'Bama was elected in the US with a set of principles maybe it is time he put them in place

    February 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  154. ben stockton, calif

    the way to stop this insanity is to vote out every single one of the people that are an obstruction to getting health care passed. while they enjoy the perks , a lot of people are doing without health care and sometimes even dying. stop foreign aid and quit sending money to israel .. even lowly cuba takes better care of their people than the us.during the war years there was a program called wpa where americans were put to work building up the infrasructure. put america back to work and a lot of our problems will improve but first , get rid of the fat cat politicians

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  155. Jackie

    Hell yes! If they can't get a few Republicans to go along with this bill they have too. It will show courage and show the American people that they really believe the bill is good for the long term welfare of the country.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  156. Karl from SF, CA

    The treasonous Republicans don’t want this President or this country to succeed in anything. The Senate bill has passed the Senate, case closed. The House needs to pass it and Nancy needs to let her wavering blue jackasses know that a no vote will be detrimental to their political futures. Then reconcile the minor changes, period. Since 1980, 16 of the 22 times reconciliation has been used it was the Republicans cramming things down our throats by the same method. You know, the tax breaks for the wealthy that raised my taxes, the GOP “Contract with American” crap and other disasters. Call out the hypocrites for what they are.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  157. Alex in Gig Harbor

    Yes, Jack, they should. My wife and I are uninsured with pre-existing conditions. Our only current choices are death or bankruptcy if we become seriously ill. Since health care costs affect the deficit via Medicare and Medicaid, this should qualify for reconciliation. That and the fact they will use the IRS to enforce the mandate to buy health insurance.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  158. Karen

    Only if they don't care about getting reelected. Ever.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  159. Joey from Ellenton, Fla

    It's unfortunate that the media – you included, Jack – continue to characterize reconciliation as "ramming" or "jamming something through. It is a perfectly respectable parliamentary method of getting things done that need to be done. And yes, if there is continued obstruction from the GOP, the majority party should press the issue.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  160. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    The majority of Americans want and need health care reform, I think the Republicans believe if they stall things long enough the insurance and drug companies will have a chance to raise their rates before any reform takes place. We have approximately 50 million Americans on a government run health care program, including members of congress, the military, all government employees, and social security. I'm on social security and there is no way that I could afford to pay for insurance if not for medicare. Members of congress pay about three hundred dollars a month for their and their dependents insurance, if they're so against a public option why in the hell do they keep their government insurance, they should drop it and go out and get their own without the help of the government.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  161. Sue From Idaho

    Yes the GOP has the mind set of morons, no one can tell them a damned thing. They are dealing with the finest president we have ever had and they still thumb their noses at him. Let them eat cake!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  162. Kevin

    the government only acts for one of two reasons. Money or politcs.
    Huge money is spent each day fighting two wars that should end. I have two family members in active service and do not wish to disconnect from supporting all troops. But enough is enough. Our defict grows and we struggle on how to help the unemployed, uninsured and lower income classes but continue to pump massive spending to the military. We must recognise that today we simply must protect ourselves and stop the belief that we can manage all of the world's problems.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  163. Laura

    I'm too sick right now to care. I'm sick because I'm stressed because I don't have a job, I've been looking for two years, before I graduated from college. I don't have healthcare, can no longer use my parents', but have started to care less about this issue, and am frankly quite irritated all of this time and problem-solving and debate is going to this issue and not creating jobs.
    Laura
    Hollister, CA

    February 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  164. lynn

    Yes,what do you think...

    February 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  165. keith in ky.

    Well that was Baracks vailed threat at the end of the meeting, I sure hope they try, because then we'll be assured that they will all be gone in november, and oh what a happy day when the arrangance that was displayed by the democrates is run out of Washington on a rail!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  166. Don, Belleville, Canada

    It is a stupid idea. It will split the country even further.
    Being from Canada, I would love for America to adopt a universal health care system, and that should be your eventual goal.
    But America is seriously facing bankruptcy right now.
    You don't go out and buy an expensive car when you can't afford the mortgage payment and the grocery bill.
    Fact the facts. Major health care reform is beyond America's abilitly to pay.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  167. lynn

    Yes,why is there a double standard when it comes to the Democrats. The double standard as far as it is concerned with the media,Repubs,and every other single institution in this country..

    February 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  168. Christ from NY

    Damn if they do and damn if they don't.They might as well ram it through.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  169. Dave

    Absolutley yes, maybe if they do this it will wake up all the sleeping, lazy, self centered elected officals on the hill. The current members of congress are the weakest generation in American politics. The members of the greatest generation are rolling in their graves. Lord help us all.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  170. tom

    if you multiply the 51 by the number of electors they represent, it would mean much more than 60% of the electorate voting in favor. So let democracy reign!
    Otherwise, if Wyoming wants 78 times the voting power of California in the Senate let them pay for it Tto paraphrase, "Make taxation(rates) equal representation."

    February 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  171. Reggie W In New Mexico

    Presidents Obama’s unusual forum, and his relentless effort to portray Democrats and Republicans as agreeing on many points, This has restored the health care issue to center stage, and reminded a skeptical public of the gravity of the problems he is trying to fix. The Daydreamers have awaken. People with no health care have been waiting/some dying ,will also be voting this Nov,
    and it just might come close to 30mil + + more to determind the outcome of what's best for America.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  172. Greg H - Minneapolis

    If Democrats resort to reconciliation to push something through that is NOT taxes or the deficit, they will be committing what may be their last big mistake before being tossed out of office. The voters do not want this in its present form, and if their wishes are ignored they are just fed up enough to remember that come November. The government taking over the private sector has never worked when it has been tried in the Soviet Union, Cuba, or any other Socialist country. Even China, who has quietly allowed some capitalism to work realizes this. Just remember, Hong Kong and Macau are "special administrative regions" who are allowed to run things with LIMITED government oversight. Democrats are not going to get reelected by adopting those failed tactics, or more importantly by ignoring "we the people" when it comes to health care!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  173. Karen Wright

    Hi Jack,
    The Dems should absolutely push through health care. It's time to stop sitting on their hands & talking about it and just do it!!! I'm so tired of listening to all the Republicans tell lies daily, saying that "the people tell us they do not want National Health Care". From what I can see, the majority of folks want & need something now. Obviously the Republicans could care less if they give us health care, but they would never consider giving up their wonderful health care that we pay for. Give us Reconcilliation & Health Care for all!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  174. Annie, Atlanta

    If the House approves the Senate version, the only thing getting "rammed" are the fixes. How long would you suggest we wait out here, Jack? My family has that crappy $1100 per month, $5000 up front deductible per year insurance, 70/30 of approved charges. We're getting crushed out here. Insurance companies in 11 states have so far increased premiums 20-50%. What are our choices?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  175. Martin Blonstein

    Yes...put health care legislation through fast. Explain the
    concept of "ramming legislation through" to a father or mother
    who has just lost their job and health benefits and has to take
    care of a sick child or deal with a debilitating injury. The members
    of Congress have theirs. The public needs to be protected in
    the same way that Eric Kantor and John Boehner are. I'm sure
    that they have access to the best hospitals in the country. The
    same care should be available to American families if we are
    to call ourselves the best country of the world to live in.
    Good health care is not socialism. It is a right and not a privilege.
    We are not a third world country. Our citizens deserve decent care.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  176. Sam

    Certainly they should pass it with 51 votes. Afterall, who ever heard of "minoritarian rule?"

    Sam in Whitesburg, KY

    February 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  177. Mr. C

    Since no one wants tax funds to be used on abortion, should those that CHOOSE to have an abortion be exempt from paying taxes?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  178. Louise

    We have the 51 vote majority, it's time to -- or get off the pot. This has gone on far too long. Say what you want about G.W. Bush, he wasn't the brightest bulb in the room, but he was a bullied his way to get bills past, now Obama has to take up the charge and bully this bill through, and stop pussy foot'n' around.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  179. William

    We need Universal Health Care and we need it now. The Health Insurers need competition, Hospitals need to be held responsible they overpay for medical supplies as Sanjay Gupta has exposed. The present system is corrupt from top to bottom. When I voted last year while in the line I got speaking to an employee of Glaxo Smith Kline, he told me that the British Government negotiated drug prices with them but in the USA they basically got what they asked for. Their is your problem right there we do not have a collective body to negotiate drug prices and equipment on behalf of patients. Only the government can do this that is why we need Universal Health Care. Take a leaf out of the British system where the National Health gives a hospital a budget, what is left from that annual budget is then the local authority's profit.It works they are just about to open a new hospital in England and five company's are bidding for the right to run the hospital.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  180. Rod from Ill

    Jack, how can you say that 51 votes in the senate, to revise the already past health care bill as ramming something? Perhaps the media loves reporting B.S for rating (You think).

    February 26, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  181. Steve R

    I am constantly amused at how CNN consistently gets played by its stronger competition. "Ramming," Jack? Really?

    The cable press has bought into the politicians' theater to survive; I don't blame you, but please, at least play your own tune, not Roger Ailes'. This is getting pathetic.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  182. carlos corbin

    hell yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!! those republicans clowns have no business deciding what is best for the american people. they had eight yrs to fix health care and when they had the opportunity, they did nothing but give tax breaks to the rich. when the repubs talk, they never mention how the avg person will be/are affected by these private ins co raising premiums. all they say is that it cost too much. when bush was in office the repubs had no problems with bankrupting this country. how in the world are we in debt to china, they have us by the balls. the dems and repubs need to get the hell on because nothing is getting done. vote all those clowns out of power and replace them with fresh blood that can work together for the american people. i am so tired of looking at the news because nothing ever gets resolved. all i hear is talking points and posturing for reelections. you shouldnt have to go bankrupt because you get sick and ins co need to held accoutable and payup when it's time. what a bunch of clowns

    February 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  183. dave

    Jack ,
    This is why CNN is behaving brain dead, Of course they should ram it through. The GOP is trying to destroy the president, to break him and if average Americans get screwed so what? Unfortunately it is the citizens that suffer while they go about their quest. The important question is why is the GOP making sure that unemployment benefits will lapse for Americans and why is that not a top story on CNN. So I say yes the democrats should ram it through and include a public option. To think the GOP has any interest in governing is stupidity.

    Thanks
    Dave, Charlotte NC

    February 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  184. Greg in Peachtree City, GA

    Jack, we live under a Democratic Republic where the majority rules.
    If the repubs want to whine about losing a vote to a majority I would remind them that they lost the election – by a majority. Deal with it.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  185. Louis Patyk

    Yes. The GOP was given every chance to particepate in governing the country and have decided not to. I however would not call it ramming. I would call it governing. As a now former Rep. I can now choose to vote for those who want to help all the people, and not just the banks and wallstreet.

    As far as special intrests and lobbiest go, it was only after i turned 60, now 73, that I learned that the 1st amend. protected bribrey.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  186. pink

    yes yes and yes. On one side we have all these sick people without any type of healthcare, and on the other side we have some republicants out there saying " we have the best healthcare system in the world?" what health care system are you on? have you seen the gigantic line for free health day? it looks like a third world country. we have kids who have no coverage. we have older people with no coverage. jeez

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  187. Scott Stodden

    Absolutly Jack they should its time for Democrats to stop talking and get the job done! Us Democrats have tried and tried and tried to work with Republicans and they just refuse to work with Democrats no matter what the issue is. If we can stand together then we must stand by ourselves in order to get the job done. Stop blaming Democrats and lets get the job done to improve this country!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  188. Bob from Long Island

    Yes, get'er done! It can be tweeked later.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  189. Carl

    51% ... you mean that thing called Majority rule? Why would America support that?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  190. Kate Freeman

    Ram it thru Jack! And when we're done, how about we ram all those "representatives" who are representing themselves & big insurance companies right out the door!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  191. Jeff

    I do think the democrats should push this through. It has been used before. I think all citizens deserve the opportunity to have access to affordable health care. Republicans don't seem to care about the population that does not have healthcare or have a preexisting condition.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  192. Elaine Pope

    Yes, Insurance reform is very important to the economy, and to the
    people who do not have insurance. The US ranks 37th in the world with health care outcomes, that is a shame and disgrace to a nation as wealthy as this one.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  193. rich sottilaro

    Of course they should ram it through and everything else they desire. If the result of the Summit is another indication of republicans doing nothing. Jack the easiest thing in life is to do nothing. So who needs a half baked response and effort to the most important legislation to come down the pike in decades!! Do the democrats have any other choice in the matter. They should have done this 6 months ago but they had to wait for Lieberman Snowe the blue dogs to finish wasting the American peoples time. This is why the republicans will lose seats in the fall because they think the American people are that tolerant or stupid to put up with start over!!! They are a disgrace to founding fathers who would be shocked to see this circus going on now!!

    rich

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  194. Gail

    Yes Jack, they should ram it through and ram it into action as soon as possible. One third of my salary goes to the cost of my healthcare that will increase again this year. Older voters do not speak me for me. While I am in my 50's, I am not at retiring age yet, so ram on because I need the protection!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  195. J.L from Delaware

    Yes, the Democrats should use reconciliation to pass every bill related to the issues Obama promised during his campaign. Americans voted for these changes and it is only right that we get them all. I personally would not vote to re-elect any Democrat who votes against these bills. It is time our government worked for the common good of it's people and sends the special interests lobbyists back home.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  196. Ed Pass

    re. the 51-vote in the Senate issue.

    Please justify your use of the words "ram it through>" When does passage with a simple majority become "ramming it through."?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  197. Aline

    Reconciliation is appropriate if we change the way medicare is funded- let the young and healthy buy into it and we wont need taxpayers to fund it anymore!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  198. Larry Cohen

    Yes. I believe the President and the Democratic congress will gain respect for showing strength of conviction.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  199. Claire Devereaux Smith

    Ram it through, you say? The only one ramming something *somewhere* is the insurance industry. If something isn't "rammed" through to mitigate that, then the rammed are the damned.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  200. Matthew Gonzales

    Jack, I want my health care RIGHT NOW! I'm an Independent and have been since 2004. Who represents me? I got nuthin', Jack. At least give me some blippity blip blippin health care, sheesh!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  201. William

    Jack, I'd like to RAM you with a little detail. People are dying because of the undemocratic 2/3 vote requirement in the Senate in the matter of health care. Majority rule was good enough when rich wanted Bush tax breaks. You've got yours, don't you? So, why care about others. Democracy, one-man-one vote is needed now to overcome the ruling plutocracts in Washington, Wall Street and on CNN!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  202. Michelle

    Just like they rammed the stimulus bill down our throats...no way.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  203. AB

    Absolutely!

    Since when is a majority 60%?
    The filibuster should be made illegal it obstructs the Congress from doing it's job, taking votes on issues they were elected to make decisions on. In a Democracy, majority rules and that is 51%.
    If the republicans cannot understand this, perhaps they have no real interest in a Democracy.

    Besides, the Bills have already passed the House and Senate – they just need to be reconciled.

    What an absolute SHAME the republican obstructionists have allowed nothing to get done in the name of those whom they owe their allegience to, the american plutocracy, their corporate backers, and anyone EXCEPT the people.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  204. donviti

    Ram? Is that what we call it when the Majority is in Power and is doing something that would benefit 30mil US citizens? Was the Bank Bailout Rammed through congress?

    The answer is YES, Jack. Ram it, Cram it, Slam it.

    You betcha,

    Canio
    Wilmington, De

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  205. Larry, Jonesport

    Jack, by using the phrase 'ram it through', you put a slant on the question. Reconciliation has been used previously for all manner of legislation. The Senate and House should be able to function on majority votes as was envisiond by the founding fathers.
    Yes, this should be passed, the party of 'NO!' will not cooperate and are intent on dragging down the president and anything else involved with the Democrats. Let's get on with business......

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  206. Gini

    Yes. The filibuster was not intended to block every piece of legislation the majority tries to pass.Republican whining over reconciliation reeks of hypocrisy and disengenuineness. And, it isn't "ramming" health insurance reform through.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  207. Kelly

    Yes – they need to use reconciliation! The bill has already passed the House and Senate, now reconciliation must be used for the 'fixes' (ie deleting Corn-husker deal etc.) to pass it again in House!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  208. Bill

    Absolutely, the Republicans have used it many times so why not the Demorates? The idea that this is too big for a "only a majority vote" is pure bull.

    The Republicans have done NOTHING but say NO. So screw them!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  209. Bob

    Let's put three options on a national ballot. 1. public option 2. Democrats and 3. Republicans. Let the American people decide as long as Congress cannot. "bet the Republicans lose that one".

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  210. Lucy

    No, No, No!! But we do need a solution. I hope and pray your program tonight at 7 PM will make some solid suggestions to dig our way out of this mess. With God's help, and a little commong sense, we can do it.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  211. G Guy canada

    Yep. But first...
    Dump the whole thing.
    Create one page plan. Single payer.
    One plan for everyone.
    The docs bill the gov.
    Shove it thru.
    Fire all the insurance companies.

    Done.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  212. Mark Brancaccio

    Yes they should do the health bill with 51 vote, face it .. no republican will vote for this anyway. As I see it, the health bill has been watered down to the point is becoming useless, so, just get it done already.
    to much time has been spent on this wasting americans time and lives, while Republicans sit by and say NO....I am tired of it.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  213. Julie Palmdale,California

    Yes! The only thing I didn't care for was when it was interrupted by the news giving me their analysis when for once I had a chance at a front row seat. It was the newscasters, all of them, that needed to shut up.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  214. Kat

    In nothing but politics would saying "I will only work with you if you scrap all your work and start again from scratch" be considered working *with* other people.

    We get it, the republicans aren't interested in working with anyone...

    So, lets get it done without them...

    By reconciliation, by the nuclear option, by whatever we've got...

    Every time a patient dies of a preventable disease because they could not afford basic health insurance, we're all responsible for that death... you know, that whole 'what you do to the least of these your bretheren,' thing.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  215. Larry

    President Obama has bent over backwards trying to get the GOP to cooperate, but to no avail. At this stage of the game, health care reform should be passed with the 51 votes, and the GOP can go hang itself. It is truly the party of NO.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  216. michael armstrong sr.

    Shure why not we can do it the right way in three years after the presidential election .

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  217. Nino toscano

    YES, maybe with single payer system. Force all the insurance company to change to NOT FOR PROFIT corporations. Is the only way we can cut cost and save us consumer money.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  218. Dominique

    Yes, if that is what it has to come to. It's absurd that the GOP would rather do nothing or little instead of doing what is right just to obtain a "Political Victory". Health Care reform must happen now. It goes way farther than Tort Reform. It's time to get serious and put the politics to the back burner. GET THIS DONE

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  219. Thomas Turner

    Jack, It's called "majority-rule". The country elected the Democrats overwhelmingly–in large part ot get health-care reform.
    The Senate bill is far from perfect, but if they don't pass it (with-or without Republican support), the political reality precludes passage of further reform efforts for at least another four years. For moral and economic reasons, we can't wait that long.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  220. Donna

    So much for unbiased journalism. If you are going to ask a question why do you ask one that doesn't show your bias for the answer? Should the Democrats us reconcilation to get Health Care changes passed? Absolutely. The Republicans are not going to agree to anything; that means absolutely nothing.

    I like the idea of Congress doing away with their health care plan until they get together and pass something for the rest of us. I don' t care who is in charge. I am sick and tired of people in Washington grandstanding instead of doing their jobs.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  221. angela

    Jack,
    Its is unamerican to block voting for the Health Care just to get reelected....Its selfish and any democrats who refuse to sign on just because they were up for relection is an insult to the american peoplewho voted for them.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  222. JW Georgia

    Frankly, after listening to six hours of discussion, and after listening to you and the other media about this, I have little feel for whether this bill should be so-called "rammed" through. I have the impression that the cost of health care is not addressed at all, and the issues of the middle man in the form of insurance costs and rules are approached in a patchworked, illogical and unsustainable way. The only thing I'm positive about from all my observations of this process is that we are represented in Washington mostly by children, and that American industry can and will do basically whatever it must in order to maintain profitability.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  223. david porter

    Jack,
    Heck yes the Dems should use Reconciliation.

    The Bush administration/Republican-controlled Congress used reconciliation to enact three major tax cuts, each of which substantially increased the deficit. Welfare reform under Clinton was passed by Reconciliation.
    16 of the 22 times reconciliation was used between 1981 – 2007, it was used by Republicans.

    Reconciliation has been used by both sides, but more so by Republicans, so why the outcry?

    David Porter
    Austin, TX

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  224. Shirley aka Tillie

    Yes. These people do not care about us. They just care about themselves. Rep John B. walking around in those high dollar suits and don't forget the pinky ring. He's not worried about healthcare insurance and it does no look like he's missing any meals either. Stop blaming all US problems on the Obama administration!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  225. Tasia

    Yes. YES. YES. We need to do whatever can be done to get health care reform passed. People in this country are dying for health care reform or lack there of.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  226. Phil

    Jack,
    The last time I checked, 51 out of 100 votes was not "Ramming Thru" anything. Maybe we ought to Ram Thru recalcitrant Republicans and Democrats right into retirement!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  227. June

    Absolutely! And the way you worded this question shows your bias, Jack.

    I guess you must have great insurance there at CNN. Lucky you.

    If our government is broken as you proclaim then we can lay a lot of blame at the feet of the filibuster!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  228. Bernie in Santa Maria, CA

    Yes! Enough of this delay and GOP lies. The GOP has proven they are just a tool of the insurance industry. They want to delay it long enough to let the insurance companys get their rate hikes into place. Lets get this bill enacted right now!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  229. Chris

    Interesting to watch a group of millionaires, receiving tax payer paid health insurance talking about why 27 million hard working American citizens do not really need to be covered. How do they plan to determine how to select the worthy 3 million to be covered?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  230. BOB BLACKSHEAR

    Absolutely!!!! The Democrats should use "Reconcillation" process to pass Health Care Reform. The Republicans are simply "the Party of No". They would not support Jesus Christ in passing ANY form of Health Care Reform so it is time to leave them in the Dust.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  231. Mike

    You damned right they should! In fact, it's long overdue. The Republicans have blocked things far too long.
    As a humorous side note...........can you imagine George W. trying to do what Obama did yesterday, as in preside over a meeting that required verbage and some degree of bipartisanship??!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Sandy R

    Of course they should. Really very tired of the do-nothing republicans. They sure have shown the American public who they care about and it isn't us. Go for it Dems!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  233. Dolores Surprise AZ

    Yes, difinitely.....The republicans used this process and there is no reason why the Democrats shouldn't since the repurlicans are determined to deep six the health care bill. I watched ALL NIGHT when the republicans passed the useless prescription drug plan. The vote was suppose to close in 17 minutes and bush came back to town and kept it open and badgered the oponents and promised them everything for their states if they would vote yes. IF the vote had closed when it was suppose to, we wouldn't have the useless prescription drug plan that cost tax payers no telling how much. I am not even an Obama fan but whats right is right and the Democrats should be able to use the reconciliation process as well as the republicans. Have you ever heard What's good for the goose is good for the gander...

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  234. G. Fieldman

    This country desparately needs health care reform. Even much poorer countries in South and Central America have national health coverage. Only here does one have to be affluent to have access to what is clearly one of the most adv anced and least accessible and least affordable health care systems in the world....Let the Republicans in congress waive their right to government provided health insurance for their own families and let them see how the rest of us suffer.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  235. Jeff Johnson

    Jack,

    The Congress, both Dems and Reps, need to respect the intended procedures and processes of legislation as they were designed to work and be used.

    If the Dems use such twisted tactics to ram healthcare through, the Republicans may use the same tactic in the future to pass some very controversial law regarding religion, abortion, etc.

    The sword cuts both ways.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  236. Jeff

    Why do you characterize this as ramming. All they are doing is using reconciliation to make budgetary modifications to what was already passed. That is completely appropriate.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  237. lezlie

    Yes...whatever it takes!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  238. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes, the Insurance Companies and the Republicans Party have stalled the American People for a hundred years over Health-Care, we have had enough of them siding with the corporations on every bill that comes up in Congress! Pass the Bill and make it Law then pass smaller bills later to perfect it! More then anything do not wait on the Republican Party to do anything but side with Big Business and their profits! They care nothing for the American People while we suffer at the hands of these greedy companies!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  239. B. Rendina

    I think the Republican's behavior has been absolutely reprehensible since this president was elected and especially during the health care debate process in congress. Yes, Democrats should definitely use the reconciliation process to enact much needed health care reform.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  240. lucia

    Jack, the Democrats are in the majority and they need to lead. Otherwise the Republicans will continue to lead even when they are in the minority. The health care summit made it clear to many, if they did not get this past year. The Dems believe that health care is the RIGHT of all Americans. The GOP believes that it is a priviliege for only the rich in American. The kept it that way for the past 70 years and they will do everything, lie, pretend to care, and protest in order to keep it that way. How can America be a world power and be the only industrialized nation that does not even care about the health of its citizens? How??

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  241. Carl from Hudson NY

    51% ... you mean that thing called Majority rule? Why would America support that?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  242. Patricia

    I take issue with the language of the question and the use of the term "ram." The Democrats SHOULD use any means to bring much-needed healthcare reform. If the Republican party refuses to participate meaningfully in such an important legislation, Democrats have a responsibility to bring it to us.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  243. Tony

    Of course the Dems should use reconciliation to ram this through. They should use it for everything else they want. With the Rebublicans blocking everything then reconciliation is the only way to get anything done. If this becomes the standard way of doing things then maybe the government will take another look at the filibuster rules and change them.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  244. Mike

    Yes Yes Yes!

    It's clear that the republican members of congress have a single goal, to delay and obstruct. The false statements and misinformation they push are shocking and designed to derail progress.

    If republicans thought health care reform was important, why didn't they do it when they controlled the presidency, senate and the house?

    The house and senate already passed bills. If reconciliation is available, Dems should use it now and give the American people what they want.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  245. Lonnie RN

    Yes, the Democrats absolutely should ram "a majority vote" through for health care. Majority votes gave them their jobs and they have the right to make this happen. The Republicans act like a bunch of terrible two year olds throwing temper tantrums. It's an embarrassment to the country!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  246. S. Herman -- Chicago

    Absolutely. We had an election in which health care reform was a major issue. The Democrats won, handily. The Democratic majority has absolute right - indeed, maybe an obligation - to get thr reform thru Congress. The fact that Republicans have used a parliamentary maneuver to require a 60-vote supermajority to get something done – a requirement that appears nowhere in the Constitution - should not prevent the Democrats from adopting their plan by a 51 vote majority.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  247. Tom Davidson

    Democrats have no choice to force the healthcare bill through. If they don't, they'll suffer the same fate they did with election losses in the 1994 midterms.

    It needs to be done now, or we'll never see a legitimate healthcare program in this country.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  248. Sue

    YES YES YES YES YES YES YES......

    1st. of all...the up or down vote is for changes only....the bill has passed with 60 votes....and don't think for a minute if the tides were turned the republicans wouldn't do exactly the same thing!

    2nd. yes the government is broken...but you will never fix it if you reward the bad behavior. If the only way anything can be passed is through reconcilation then so be it.....perhaps the republicans will then be willing to participate in the process rather than wanting to do anything to make the President fail....as they have indicated many times....

    so YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  249. Matt

    Yes The Dems should should push it with the 51 votes. We need health care nown.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  250. Ethan M. from Virginia

    The Bill is already passed. Use reconciliation to make the necessary amendments, cut waste, hone...but use this majority and move us forward.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  251. Ellen

    When Republicans used reconciliation, they simply declared it protected the right of the majority to vote. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that the GOP has the backbone to forge ahead when it has the majority. If reconciliation could be used to pass the Bush tax cuts that had a devastating effect on deficits, it should be used to pass health reform measures that will lower them.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  252. Vonnie

    Hey Jack, reading your "question", I'm wondering what response you want??? Why would anyone want anybody to "RAM" something through. Next time, try not to ask a loaded question. You can at least try to pretend you're being objective.

    This is another reason why so many people are turning off to the media.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  253. LB

    I hope the House Democrats realize they could be screwed on this. The first step is for the House to pass the Senate Bill as is. That is not a bill the House would normally accept. If the Senate then says, screw you, we are not reconciling it, we have a Senate Bill that has passed the House and the Senate. It is ready for signature. I hope the House is smart enough not to trust the Senate. I also hope someone starts a telephone campaign for citizens to call their Representative and their Senator and tell them we do not want Health Care passed through reconciliation.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  254. Steve

    Of course they should. The GOP decided not to participate along time ago, they only want Obama to look bad on every issue that comes up. We dont have time for anymore nonsense. To bad the repubs are so bitter over an election that took place over a year ago.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  255. Travis

    Yes it is time to ram away! This has gone on too long and it is time to start tranforming our nation for the people not coorporations or politics.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  256. Sil

    The republican say no to everything and we dont move forward. We need the democrats

    February 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  257. nhairfield

    I hope they do pass the health reform bill.
    it won't affect me as I am on regular medicare and I have a supplement.
    But the 35.000,000 others that have no insurance , it will be a Godsend.
    The ones that go to the Er for their health needs, end up costing all of us dearly.
    We need everyone to be insured to make it equitable for everyone.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  258. Perry Redd

    Yes, the Democrats need to ram the Healthcare bill through...the pussyfooting with the Republican's obstructionist tactics (i.e., "Why move so fast (Nov)", "Let's start all over" (Feb)) has them paralyzed...and it's their fault. As long as the language is placed in the negative, ("Death Panels", "Killing Grandma", "Socialized Medicine"–when its not even about medicine! "Ramming it through", etc), it will seem bad. The American people need relief from outof control insurance comapnies and we've waited for 15 d**** years!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  259. glenna

    YES!
    That is one reason we elected President Obama for.
    We did not want the Republicans to continue wrecking the country!!!
    GF

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  260. Sans_pr

    Yes, ram it as down as possible. The problem with this administration is that it has been overly nice. The Republicans will never help with any issue, the Democrats might as well do what needs to be done, with or without them,

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  261. char

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Please ram it through, I'm waiting on a needed surgery. I have been unemployed for 2 years, I need this health care bill to be over. Also, could the coverage start as soon as it is passed?
    Why wait for the coverage to kick in, give me health care now.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  262. Jackie Kidd

    YES YES YES Please stop using the word ram or jam in your question. This denotes your negative opionion of the answer.
    the question should be "Should the Democrats use the REonciliation Process to get the Health Care Bill passed"

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  263. Edmund from Philadephia PA

    Jack I think the Democrats should use every means available at their disposal to ram this bill through because it is their moral obligation to the American people. It has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that republicans will never support anything when it comes to health reform.

    If the situation was reversed the republicans will do it regardless of who opposes it.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  264. Capsaicin

    Yes Yes Yes. Bush pushed through a huge tax cut for the rich using reconciliation, and Republicans have used it extensively elsewhere. CHIP and Medicare-D were reconciled, so it has been done with medical and big issues. If republicans can use it to give huge unfunded tax cuts to the rich, Obama can (merely pushing Republican ideas about healthcare competition rather than Single Payor or Public Options no less!), use it to help the poor and middle class for a change.

    They gave Republicans a year to add any serious ideas they had, they put up with all kinds of GOP media sh&*t and disortion that is tearing at the fabric of our country. If it's a terrible idea, let the Dems pay for it in elections. But I doubt more than a few Dems will be hurt by it. The truth is this will eventually be seen as a huge positive step forward for fairness for all Americans, up there with Social Security, Civil Rights, Medicaid, etc.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  265. stewart

    Stop using the word "ram". It is inflammatory and misleading. Let the parties use the rules and procedures. That is how democracy works. Using words like "ram" continues the steady drumbeat of the media that makes money by making all of us afraid of our own government. This is vital to solving the country's economic problems – report on THAT.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  266. Edna Brooks

    Yes< I believe they should! Why shouldn"t we have the chance for health care? All of those rich republicans have theirs and apparantly don"t care how many of us in the middle class die! They disgust me and everyone I know!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  267. Bill

    Ram it through with 51 votes? It is disgusting to watch how the pettiness of the Republican Party is bringing this country to a standstill. This isn't about Health care, it is simply politics and the great desire of a party to see this President fail. This party has "rammed" this country for 8 years and continuing to place their personal agendas/greed above the needs of the people. Ram something through? I say the Democrats need to become ramrods and forget trying to seek bi-partisanship with this group of people. It just "ain't" going to happen

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  268. Kathy Preston

    Yes, the Dems should try to do reconciliation. The time has come to get on with this health care reform bill. The GOPs would like to drag it out forever, and why not, they have good health care.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  269. JB - Massachusetts

    Of course they should use reconciliation. It's the same method the Republicans used to pass the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 which extended the Bush Administration tax cuts. Remember them hollering "Let them vote?"

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  270. Janet Mitchell

    Yes, because if they don't ram it through we'll still not have any health care. If the Republicans won't help us, then they don't get any credit for it and they are going to look like the sorry jerks that they really are.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  271. Mike

    I really hope they do. It will end the Democrates control and we can end this. All the people that say it's not ramming it through. Do you see what the majority of AMERICANS are saying.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  272. Ell from Grand Forks, ND

    Ramming it through is "Republican" for passing a bill with a majority vote. When they did it, it was just fine.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  273. David Wight

    ABSOLUTLY NOT....
    This subject is SO important that it needs to be fully discussed and debated before we "Experiment" with our children's future.
    Using a technique that has been used for budget issues is NOT the process to be used for setting POLICY.

    The current bills only appear to deal with how to pay for health care, but DOES NOT deal with how to control the cost of health care.

    Washington must get REAL about controlling costs, and not continue to try to steal more money from the people of America just to continue their out of control spending....

    People know how to control their costs, but Washington does not..
    We should flush them all and start over with a new batch that will work for the American people, as the ones in office have forgotten who they serve... (They serve the American people and not the President, nor their party....)

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  274. Scott

    NO!!! Would you sign a contract without knowing what it will ultimately cost you. No you wouldn't. The Rep. had it right. Start small and do what is necessary to lower cost. And that's all they should do. This bill is filled with to much unnecessary spending, as are all the recent bills. We don't have any money left to spend.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  275. steve sunshine

    Be using the word "ram" you are gaming the question; a more objective way of phrasing would be : should Democrats try to pass health care reform in the Senate by a simple majority – 51 votes – or a super majority – 60 votes?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  276. Stephanie

    It shows a bias by your use of the term 'ram it through'. It is not ramming it through it is using a procedure which is not unusual & has been used many times by the Republicans. Why is it a problem if the Democrats do the same? And yes they should use reconciliation to pass the fixes. The bill has already been passed.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  277. Paul Byrne

    Ram it through, Jack? Since when is a bill that has passed both houses of Congress and is moving forward with a 51 vote majority to overcome partisan obstruction but the Republicans a "Ram through"? Jack, you are usually better than this. Rather than just echoing the Republicans talking points and language, why not mention that the Democrats have already passed this and are actually trying to govern? My sister thinks you're the bees knees, but I worry that you are watching too much Fox News between segments....

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  278. Loiss

    I'm sick of hearing republican "leaders" harping on the same talking points. Clearly they don't understand the plight of the worker making $40K when they say such stupid things like Americans can put $$ aside in health/flexible savings accounts. People earning $40k don't have $$ to "put away"–they're having a hard time surviving! Every cent counts to SURVIVE. Republicans are clueless if they can't understand this basic principle.

    The bottom line is that the democrats are in the majority now and should use whatever means to pass bills just as the republicans did during the Clinton era and the Bush II era. That's how democracy works.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  279. Francesca

    Ram? are you kidding me? The Dems haven't rammed anything. That's the whole problem! Obama's need for consensus and bipartianship is hurting the country. We need leadership. Democrats caved on single payer (which is what this country needs). Need I remind you Jack that every industrialized country in the world has some form of a national health care system? (e.g. Australia, Germany, France, etc). If Americans don't get, at minimum a public option, than "change we can believe in" is just a cruel joke.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  280. Rosalinda

    Funny when it comes to the benefit of the people, things are "rammed", but when reconciliation is done to give tax breaks to the rich, that is a perfect procedure, and no person in the media would ever ask the same question you are asking.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  281. Collado Gray

    Hell yeah they should do the 51 majority vote, i'm sick and tired of seeing this healthcare debate, it's wearing me out like i'm in the 12th round of a heavyweight prize fight.....will somebody land the punch already. I can't see us not doing anything about it, and i don't see us doing this slow step by step process the Republican want so they can get all the benefits of not doing anyting come this mid-term election. Obama be like Nike and "Just Do It"

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  282. Bruce from Bayside

    Absolutely!

    If Republicans and Democrats agrees we need to something to strat and change the healthcare system in this country then we need to do it anyway we can.

    Reconciliation is a legitimate Senate procedure that has been used numerous time in the past by both Republicans and Democrats.

    Let's get this healthcare show on the road....people are litterly dying and going broke because of healthcare, lack of helathcare or lack of health insurance.

    It's obvious that the Republicans want no part of this plan so let the Decmocrats do whatever they have to.

    So Democrats, MAN UP and do the right thing!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  283. Herb

    Yes, the sooner the better. If the GOP can do it for tax cuts for the rich and a Medicare drug plan drafted by the pharmacutical companies and don't like the Democrats Bill, there's a good solution – get 51 votes to defeat it. Last I heard this is still a Democracy!
    Tampa, FL

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  284. Chris Pensacola

    LIsten Jack, we both know the president is damned either way. He has done evrything he can to work with Republicans in Congress and they are determined, as many have said publicly, to make him fail...why should he continue to baby these guys? HE was elected president...he should certainly encourage Congress to ram it through...what is the other option??? really??? if it comes down to doing something or doing nothing...hey, I'll take the something...let's get this done...even if it costs Obama the election in 2012..history will sing his praises..trust me!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  285. Mitch Gilbert

    I'll bet the farm and everything else of value that the Republican's have no interest in partnering with the Democrats in bringing about health care reform. Cries of "start all over" ring hollow from a Republican party that is more inclined to manipulation of the electorate then genuine statesmanship. The Republicans are about as inclined to limit the profits of any industry in this country as they are to stop using patriotism, the flag and character defamation to win elections.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  286. gerry chevrier

    Health care is a right, not a privilege.- ram it through. Lets get on board with the rest of the civilized world.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  287. Michelle

    Yes. Period. Get it done already.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  288. Tom Ness

    Jack,
    yes the democratsshould try and get this passed, that is what they were elected to do. That was a promise from Mr. O' Bama

    Tom

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  289. Donna

    NO. They should not use reconciliation. I agree if insurance reform is so important, let the people vote.
    Didn't the prime minister of Newfoundland come to Miami for heart surgery? Canada's health care sucks! And we want the same? Are you nuts?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  290. Konstantin

    Yes they must and add public option as soon as possible

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  291. Robert Knauss

    Ram through? Ram Through is a perjoritive term .If they can pass something with 51 votes it will be governance by the majority.We need it .we want it. go ahead and vote up or down.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  292. Annette of Aurora, CO

    Unless we need to rewrite math, the majority of anything is X / Y + 1. Or you can say the majority is 51%. The Senate has 100 members, two Senators from each state. 51% of 100 = 51, not 60 votes, not 60%. It is beyond me how the Senate ever got to the majority being 60% in the first place. Now the Repubs say reconciliation, or 51 votes was never meant for such a big issue? Give me a break. They can't get anything done with 60% so we need to demand that they go by 51% or throw all their buts out on the street. We need to review the "truly welfare perks" Congress gets but I will leave that for another 30 years of debates.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  293. john sheehy

    Absolutely yes. This is tax and deficit legislation that the country desparately needs. The Republicans should get out of the way And if the president is willing to risk not being reelected then the rest of the democrats should show some political courage as well.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  294. Joyce Wilson

    Yes! We need health care reform desperately. Insurance companies have been scaring people away from moving forward, but we need to move ahead however we can do it. Our country will be so much better off.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  295. Mark from Indy

    The Republicans have used this process twice as many times as the Democrats and several of those processes have included health care reform. This is not a new health care program this is changes to the broken system we already have so isn't this one step at a time like the Republicans talk about. New health care plans would be single payer or public options. THIS IS ONE STEP AT A TIME VERSUS SAY NO

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  296. michael Zadell

    Jack

    Yes. But why do you use the phrase ram it through? You and Wolf know that it has already passed both houses of COngress. Now it is time to reconcile the bills. By the way CNN's technique of playing dumb is getting old. It is not bias to report what is fact, even if it tilts to one party or the other.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  297. Pamela holt

    Foley,al, Jack, it"s pretty sad when you can"t believe either the democrats, or the republicans. After all, you have to wonder, knowing what he knows, president obama, would he wait even one more minute, knowing that Rhodes minutes equal to the loss of human lives, while he panders , politically to the other side? And the republicans, whom had eight years, never even brought up the subject of healthcare reform!!! All they seemed to be worried about yesterday was taking away the poor and middle classes right to sue if injured by some dr. Or etc... We, the American people din"t have a snowballs chance in he'll of ever being treated fairly...

    February 26, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  298. patricia leviege

    Yes, the DEMS should use reconciliation to pass this bill, but take out all the wash down amendments by the Republicans. The notion that this bill has been without Republicans input is inaccurate. I have been watching since the Summer and they worked very hard on this bill. Some aspects are weak due to the Repubs. They are not for the people but care for business.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  299. Sue

    Absolutely. 51 votes is just fine.
    We need this done and the Republicans have demonstrated clearly that they will never do it. I wish they'd throw the public option in while they are at it, but I'll take what I can get. Maybe it will make the Republicans realize that being hypocrits and obstructionists is not going to continue working for them. We've had enough. It's time each Republican started thinking on his own instead of just following his leaders' embarrassingly transparent delay-tactic talking points.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  300. C. Eberhardt

    60 years of haggling and arguments and still Americans do not have healthcare by virtue of living in America. Surely people can see that the negative campaign against universal coverage is being funded by the companies that have a vested interest in profits at the expense of others misfortune. Republicans believe that healthcare is a personal responsibility and Democrats believe we owe it to each other to make sure nobody is without. No mention by the GOP of what happens when you cannot afford to pay to see a doctor or be hospitalized.
    I say RAM IT THROUGH AND TWEEK IT LATER. If not now then WHEN?

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  301. Bob Lowe

    If we can vote in a chief executive on the basis of 51% of the vote we can certainly legislate on the basis of simple majority rule. To the point, healthcare legislation will not lead us into war, but chief executives have. The rules of the Senate are not in our constitution, and have not been ratified by the US voters. Why should our futures be controlled by them. Let Senators filibuster until they're hoarse, the eventual silence will be refreshing.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  302. Bob from Florida

    Absolutely...It is time for the "majority" to get it done. If reconciliation is the only way, let's do it.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  303. Wayne

    Ram? One year of discussion, passed by the house and the senate does not sound like health care is being rammed. It is being corrected/up-dated with reconciliation!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  304. ana

    Absolutely!! After the fact that this bill contains 70% of what the republicans want and they still won't vote for it I say let's go for it!!

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  305. Harmon

    Of course the Dems should force the legislation through. If the Republicans wanted to be a part of the process they should have joined in the first time they were asked to show up and be positive. On the other hand, the Canadian women's hockey team will positively show up as long as there's beer...

    February 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm |