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Dem Ultimatum

Today Obama is due to make remarks indicating a willingness to work with the Republicans on some areas in exchange for their support in getting the health care reform bill passed. But he is thought to be planning to make it clear that if he doesn’t receive Republican help the Democrats will go ahead with the controversial “reconciliation rules” whereby it is necessary for only 51 Senate votes to pass the amended bill rather than the typical 60 votes. ABC’s White House correspondent Jake Tapper blogged: “In his remarks, scheduled to be at the White House, the president will paint a picture of what he will say will happen without a health care reform bill – skyrocketing premiums, everyone at the mercy of the insurance industry as recently seen with the 39% premium increases proposed by Anthem Blue Cross in California. He will note that the ‘fixed’ bill will include the proposal for a new ‘Health Insurance Rate Authority’ to set guidelines for reasonable rate increases. If proposed premium increases are not justifiable per those Health Insurance Rate Authority guidelines, the Health and Human Services Secretary or state regulators could block them. The plan to pass the bill includes having the House of Representatives pass the Democratic Senate health care reform legislation as well as a second bill containing various ‘fixes’.”
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