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GOP, Dems Remain Gridlocked After Health Care Summit

Special to the NNPA from the Afro American Newspapers

WASHINGTON (NNPA) - President Barack Obama's bipartisan health care reform summit on February 25 failed to provoke any Republican converts, forcing Democrats to turn to a political process called reconciliation, which would sidestep the need for Republican support for the measure.

The move would allow the majority-Democratic Congress to approve Obama's proposed healthcare reform with a simple majority vote.

Republicans, however, rejected any move that would override or bypass their input.

"Both of us [presidential candidates ... promised change in Washington," said former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. "Eight times you [Obama] said negotiations on health care reform would be conducted before C-SPAN cameras. I'm glad, more than a year later,that they are here...Unfortunately, this [Democratic] product was not produced in that fashion. It was produced behind doors."

Democrats' hopes for health care reform took a blow earlier this year when Republican Scott Brown was elected to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, causing Democrats to lose the 60-seats majority required to break a filibuster attempt.

Obama appeared undeterred by the summit's gridlocked conclusion and pledged to move forward so America does not "lose the opportunity to meet this challenge."

He added, "The tens of millions of men and women who cannot afford their health insurance cannot wait another generation for us to act."

President Barack Obama's bipartisan health care reform summit on February 25 failed to provoke any Republican converts, forcing Democrats to turn to a political process called reconciliation, which would sidestep the need for Republican support for the measure.

The move would allow the majority-Democratic Congress to approve Obama's proposed healthcare reform with a simple majority vote.

Republicans, however, rejected any move that would override or bypass their input.

"Both of us [presidential candidates ... promised change in Washington," said former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. "Eight times you [Obama] said negotiations on health care reform would be conducted before C-SPAN cameras. I'm glad, more than a year later,that they are here...Unfortunately, this [Democratic] product was not produced in that fashion. It was produced behind doors."

Democrats' hopes for health care reform took a blow earlier this year when Republican Scott Brown was elected to fill the Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, causing Democrats to lose the 60-seats majority required to break a filibuster attempt.

Obama appeared undeterred by the summit's gridlocked conclusion and pledged to move forward so America does not "lose the opportunity to meet this challenge."

He added, "The tens of millions of men and women who cannot afford their health insurance cannot wait another generation for us to act."

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