Democratic congressional leaders are beginning to agree on their last hope for passing health-care reform: Pass the Senate bill with minor changes to accommodate the House. It’s unclear whether they have the votes to pull it off. The Senate is expected to use the special budget procedure of reconciliation to allow a majority of 51 senators to amend the bill to address House concerns on issues like taxing high-cost insurance plans. But the procedure would most likely not let them address non-budgetary disputes, like how much taxpayer money would fund abortion, so they could still be left with a bill that cannot pass both the House and the Senate. "We've put so much effort into this, so much hard work, and we were so close to doing some significant things. Now we have to find the political path that brings us out. And it's not easy," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). David Plouffe is a fan of using reconciliation, the Associated Press reports.
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