Does healthcare reform have a chance? Over the weekend, we got plenty of assurances that it does--and that it doesn't. Here's a roundup of the latest political posturing and finagling.
- The president and top Democrats promised they'd push ahead on healthcare reform. At a town hall meeting in Ohio, the president said, "We can't keep on putting this off." And he warned that a failure to act now could end up bankrupting individuals and the country as a whole as healthcare costs continue to rise.
- The White House zeroed in on several elements it hoped would survive the healthcare battle, including measures to extend the life of Medicare, lower prescription drug costs for seniors--a key provision of the storied $80 billion deal with pharma--and cap consumers' out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Former presidential candidate John McCain advised President Obama to "start from the beginning" on healthcare by meeting with Republicans. Speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," McCain said Obama could win political capital by adopting a Republican idea or two.
- Appearing on ABC's "This Week," White House adviser David Axelrod promised that President Obama isn't giving up on a healthcare overhaul, adding that it would be politically foolish for lawmakers who supported it so far to walk away now. He painted Republicans as obstructionists, saying that voters want them to work together with Democrats to fix healthcare, not simply say no to every potential change.
- To help push the healthcare reform agenda, President Obama has brought in his 2008 campaign manager, David Plouffe, to run his political operations and help get reform back on track.
Will the Dems' efforts work? Or is reform bleeding too heavily to salvage?