With Republicans standing firm in their opposition, the White House is putting the full court press on Democrats to get health care reform legislation passed. Now, 216 votes are needed in the U.S. House to pass the measure. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn acknowledged that the votes aren’t in the fold yet for passage, but he says they will be by the time the vote takes place. “I have been talking to members a long time on this and they have the will to it. They have been looking to us to create a way to do it.I think we’ve gotten to a place where we do have a way to do it and I think the members are going to vote for this.”
Clyburn says some House Democrats are uneasy about Senate Democrats’ attempt to pass their version of the legislation without Republican support using the process called reconciliation. House members fear that Republican opposition will use the lack of bipartisan participation against them in November. Clyburn says he is confident that the two bodies can come to an agreement on an effective piece of legislation that will be favorable to the American public. “I believe sincerely that we have been working together, the House and Senate leaders along with the White House. I think we’ve gotten a comfort level with each other. I think we can go to our members and say to them with assurances that the Senate wants to fix this as well as we do,” Clyburn says.
Clyburn says the bottom line is that health care restructuring is ultimately the will of the people and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle know that Americans not only desire reform, but it is also very much needed. “They know that people back in their states need reform,” he says.”We need to get rid of discrimination because of pre-existing conditions. We need to get rid of rescissions when people get catastrophic illnesses. We need to say to young people that they can stay on your parents’ insurance policies until you finish law school or medical school, or what have you. These things we have got to do and the senators know that, and we can’t do all of that without this bill.”