Tags: Kyl | Fears | Dems | Will | Force | Healthcare | Reform

Kyl Fears Dems Will Force Health Reform

Monday, 15 Feb 2010 10:23 AM

By Dan Weil

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Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl says Democrats may bypass a Republican filibuster in the Senate to force through their healthcare reform plan.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kyl cited a recent Wall Street Journal story that said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has “set the stage” for using reconciliation to pass the bill.

That strategy could allow the Senate to pass the bill with just 51 votes rather than the 60 needed to end a filibuster.

“What that means is they’ve devised the process by which they can jam the bill through that the president has supported in the past, without Republican ideas in it,” Kyl said.

Republicans are worried that Democrats view the Feb. 25 healthcare reform summit at the White House merely as a public relations ploy rather than a true step toward bipartisanship.

“Reconciliation is not the process for comprehensive bills like this. It’s for balancing the budget. … I don’t know why we would be having a bipartisan summit down at the White House if they’ve already decided on this other process by which they’re going to jam the bill through.”

Kyl says Congress should start over on healthcare.

“It’s not a matter of taking this or that out of the Senate-passed bill or the House-passed bill, it’s a matter of starting with basic principles and going one step at a time, solving particular problems,” he said. “For example, everyone believes there’s this ‘jackpot justice’ system we have and we need medical malpractice reform.”

Many experts believe the summit will consist more of finger-pointing from both sides than of real dialogue.

"In Washington, negotiations don't happen in front of cameras," Concept Capital, a private firm that tracks Congress and the White House for investors, wrote in a report, according to Reuters.

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