Gibbs, Jarrett say healthcare reform is not dead yet

by Molly K. Hooper
The Hill

President Obama’s healthcare reform plan may be on life support but it’s not dead yet, according to senior White House advisers who hit the airwaves on Sunday morning.

Despite the unexpected political upset in Massachusetts last Tuesday, when voters of the traditionally liberal bastion voted to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) with a Republican state senator, the White House isn’t giving up on its top domestic policy item.

Though Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) conceded on Thursday that she could not find the votes in the House to approve the Senate-passed version of healthcare reform, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on “Fox News Sunday” that the administration has been in conversations with congressional leaders on whether to take a break for a month or two from healthcare and focus on economy/jobs bills or keep pressing ahead.

“Those discussions are happening right now to see whether or not we can get something done and when we can do it. But I know the president, again, is convinced that healthcare is part of the economy,” Gibbs explained, noting that the president would discuss his economic plan at the State of the Union address on Wednesday night.

Gibbs made clear, however, that the landslide upset in Massachusetts meant little change for the president’s policy goals.

The article continues at The Hill.

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