Obama To Announce Way Forward On Health Care Next Week
The White House will announce next week -- "probably closer to Wednesday" -- the president's preferred path forward for getting health care legislation passed, spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Friday.
"The President will take into account what he heard yesterday, work through with the team some ideas and make an announcement next week about the way forward," Gibbs said.
Gibbs declined to get into specifics. But the widespread assumption on Capitol Hill is that Obama will address specific changes that he wants made to the Senate's version of the legislation (beyond the proposals he set forth in his own outline this week) and that he will encourage Congress to pass those changes using reconciliation, a procedure that precludes a filibuster.
One of the issues that could be addressed is the exemption of Floridians from cuts that the health care bill makes to Medicare Advantage. The president acknowledged during Thursday's summit that the carve-out didn't make much political or policy sense. And on Friday, Gibbs suggested Obama would want it gone.
"I think again, the president outlined a series of proposals based on good ideas from Democrats and Republicans in the past and I think you will likely see him take issues they agreed on yesterday and add them into a proposal going forward," Gibbs said.
Beyond that, Gibbs refused to budge. "I'm going to let the president make a decision and announce that decision as the best path forward," he said.
"I think that those questions are better left for when we have an announcement on the way forward," he said when asked later, adding that an announcement would come "probably closer to Wednesday."