Gibbs: Obamacare Will Be Passed Next Week

Sunday, 14 Mar 2010 11:43 AM

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs boldly predicted Sunday that Congress will pass healthcare by next weekend.

"We'll have the votes when the House votes, I think, within the next week," Gibbs said on "Fox News Sunday."

"We believe healthcare reform is going to pass, and once it passes we're happy to have the 2010 elections be about the achievement of healthcare reform," Gibbs said.

Gibbs added that next week's Sunday morning news shows "will be talking about healthcare not as a presidential proposal but I think as the law of the land."

The new healthcare law will be the basis on which President Barack Obama campaigns in the midterm elections, Gibbs said.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander predicted it will the topic in every race until November – to the detriment of Democrats. Republicans on Fox, meanwhile, said there's no guarantee the bill passes and that Democrats will benefit from it.

"If they pass this thing, I think they lose the House of Representatives this fall," said former Bush White House adviser Karl Rove.

If Democrats do pass it, "then the American people will be the losers," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va..

"This is a trillion-dollar-bill attempting to overhaul healthcare for every single American," Cantor added. The bill in its first 10 years will cost nearly $900 billion, The Hill reported Sunday.

Cantor also slammed Democrats for talking about "bending the rules" by holding a single House vote that allows passage of both the bill passed by the Senate and a package of fixes, The Hill reported.

That move, under consideration by House Democratic leaders, would keep House members from voting on unpopular parts of the Senate bill, namely special deals that were included to win over recalcitrant senators.

"There should be in the minds of most Americans a direct vote on the Senate bill," Cantor said.



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