Health Care Talks Collapsing Amid Infighting, Lack Of Leadership

With some Democrats increasingly angry over the lack of clear leadership by the White House on health care, finger-pointing and political concerns have Democrats scrambling for answers that don’t seem to be coming. Various sides have their plans, but that’s part of the problem. Also, Olympia Snowe is signaling she’s not interested in rejoining any negations. It’s sounding as though any efforts to reach out to more liberal Republicans on the matter have so far failed to provide a workable path. Tick, tick, tick.

They all want to pass something. But there doesn’t seem to be broad enough agreement on any one thing, or single potential path to bring them together. If a solution drags on too long, it will only become more poisonous as we approach November. Many are suggesting the focus needs to turn to jobs and the economy and there simply isn’t enough time to continue to focus on health care, while letting other important agenda items sit.

Health care reform teetered on the brink of collapse Thursday as House and Senate leaders struggled to coalesce around a strategy to rescue the plan, in the face of growing pessimism among lawmakers that the president’s top priority can survive.

The legislative landscape was filled with obstacles: House Democrats won’t pass the Senate bill. Senate Democrats don’t want to start from scratch just to appease the House. And the White House still isn’t telling Congress how to fix the problem.

Cross-posted at RiehlWorldView

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