Now that Democrats in Congress are considering a piecemeal approach to health care reform, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may try to pass a separate bill to revoke the health insurance industry's antitrust exemption.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
"Some things we can do on the side which may not fit into a bigger plan," Pelosi said today in a press conference, with respect to health care. "That doesn't mean that's a substitute for doing comprehensive. It means we will move on many fronts. Any front we can."
After the press conference, an aide for Pelosi said House Democrats want to move forward on separate, popular health care components before they leave Washington for a President's Day recess, CBS News Capitol Hill Producer Jill Jackson reports. One provision they could try to pass separately would lift the insurance antitrust exemption; other possible standalone bills are being considered as well.
Pelosi made clear she is determined, one way or another, to pass health care reform.
"We go through the gate, the gate's closed, we'll go over the fence," she said. "The fence is too high, we'll hole our way in. If that doesn't work we'll parachute in, but we're going to get health care reform passed for the American people."
At least 19 senators have expressed support for lifting the antitrust provision.
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At his own press conference today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested the Senate will take its time finishing up health care.
"There's been a bill that's passed the House. There's been a bill that's passed the Senate," he said. "This is not a one-year Congress. It's a two-year Congress... We're going to do health care reform this year. The question is at this stage procedurally how do we get where we need to go."