Anthony Weiner: Obama the "Ultimate Game Changer" for Health Care

The outlook for health care reform is grim, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York said today on Washington Unplugged, but President Obama could be the "ultimate game changer."

"The president is still the ultimate game changer," Weiner told Unplugged moderator Bob Schieffer. "If he stands up and finally focuses on the things he absolutely needs to have in health care reform... I think it would go a long way to resuscitating this."

Democrats have reached a stalling point in their health care negotiations now that they no longer have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

"We've been fixated on the 60th vote, and we forgot about the 100 million Americans out there who were losing sight of what we were doing," Weiner said. "It's regrettable all this time and effort went in, and yet so many Americans seem displeased with [the bill]."

The party is considering a few less-than-ideal options for pushing through a reform bill. Weiner said he is in favor of passing a bill that is stripped down to a few widely-popular proposals, such as expanding Medicare and closing the "doughnut hole" in Medicare coverage to help senior citizens cover the cost of prescription drugs.

"Even things like the pubilc option are getting kicked around again because at just the time we jettisoned it, it was becoming more popular around the country," he said.

To some degree, though, he said, "we're waiting to hear from the mothership -- we're waiting to hear what President Obama and his team think we should do next."

Listen to the whole conversation in the video above, along with a conversation about Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair's big flub and a story about Americans on a mission to help Haitians.

CBSNews.com Special Report: Health Care

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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