“We are working full-time to see how we can finish the job on comprehensive health care,” a Senate Democratic leadership source told Fox. “We are not exploring any other option until we conclude that is not possible. And we have not concluded that. It is also difficult to imagine this (Plan B) getting 60 votes. Republicans will never go for it.”
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President Obama has developed a scaled-down version of health care reform that would cost about a quarter of current plans and rely on parents covering children on their own polices until age 26, congressional and administration sources confirm to Fox.
Administration officials say the plan is “not where we are now” and was drawn up at Obama's request after the devastating loss in the Massachusetts Senate race that cost Democrats their filibuster-proof majority.
“It was ordered up by the president so he could get a sense of his options post-Massachusetts,” said an administration official.
Details of the White House Plan B first surfaced in today's Wall Street Journal.
The smaller plan, according to the White House, has been overtaken by Obama's 11-page proposal on the White House Web Site, an amalgam of the comprehensive and far more costly House and Senate health care bills with an estimated 10-year price tag of $950 billion. Oddly, Obama has said nothing in public on behalf of his new “starting point” proposal in the three days since it made its internet debut – the closest he came was a speech Wednesday to the Business Round Table extolling the virtues of overall health care reform.