By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
It's being reported that President Obama is working to put together a health reform bill that - in contrast with those that were previously proposed and opposed - will be palatable to the Republicans.
The idea is to ultimately report a bill out of committee in the Senate that won't generate a filibuster.
Unlike during the first go-around, this is important now because of the election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. The addition of Brown, who now holds the seat that had been emptied by the death of Democrat Ted Kennedy, tipped the balance in the Senate just enough to give the Republicans enough votes to conduct a filibuster.
It is unfortunate that it took the threat of a filibuster to get the Democrats to attempt to offer legislation that the GOP might accept. The party's arrogance during this process hit a nerve, created vocal constituent opposition to health reform, and forced the Democrats to stop the process and go back to the drawing board.
Polls had indicated at the beginning of this venture that the majority of Americans wanted health reform. Which means that it was the Democrat's exclusionary process - not the concept - that doomed the effort.
Obama is convening a health reform summit that - this time - includes Republicans - in an attempt to repair this damage. But even that - and this reported concession-laden draft - may now not be enough.
On February 11, a Rasmussen poll found that only 35 percent of voters believe Congress should pass health care reform before the upcoming midterm elections.