Obama’s New Health Care Plan To Have Both Substance And Process

Christy Bowe - Globe Photos, Inc./Newscom

President Obama Wednesday will detail both the substance of his final health care reform legislation proposal and the process for getting it through Congress once and for all.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters during his daily briefing today that Obama will offer the pathway to final passage by outlining the “next steps.” But Gibbs also dodged questions on specifics or how the president would help Speaker Nancy Pelosi or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid secure enough votes in their chambers.Gibbs said there were several meetings about health care today and over the weekend, and Capitol Hill sources tell us they believe the president’s announcement coming so soon after his health care summit at the White House last week that health care is likely to get the momentum necessary to break the logjam.

Democrats and the Obama administration have switched up their language when referring to reconciliation to make it more politically palpable, calling it an “up or down vote” whenever possible.

When asked if voters would fret about the use of reconciliation, Gibbs pointedly said today that both bills passed the House and Senate last year. He added the Senate’s measure passed with a “supermajority” of votes and said, “Republicans could decide not to filibuster.”

Reporters asked Gibbs if Obama would help Pelosi and Reid lock down Democratic votes, and the press secretary said the president “helped get votes in all the go-arounds” last year and would keep that up.