On Fox News Sunday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs predicted the Democratic health-care reform plan will be passed and signed into law by next weekend.
“We’ll have the votes when the House votes, I think, within the next week,” Gibbs said, and by next Sunday claimed we “will be talking about healthcare not as a presidential proposal but, I think, as the law of the land.”
Gibbs also said that Democrats look forward to campaigning on the passage of the health-care bill in the 2010 midterm elections.
“[O]nce it passes, we’re happy to have the 2010 elections be about the achievement of health care reform. That’s a debate I think we’re obviously comfortable having.”
The Democrats’ 2,309-page reconciliation bill was released for public viewing Sunday and will begin the mark-up process in the Budget Committee Monday at 3pm. Contrary to the Democratic pledge to post the reconciliation measure 72 hours before consideration, the bill posted is a dummy — or a “shell” as Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) put it — an early version of the House bill that cleared key committees in 2009, thus making it eligible for the reconciliation process under budget rules. Once that bill clears the the committee it will be gutted and replaced with the closed-door “fixes” agreed upon by Congressional Democrats, and appended with an unrelated student loan bill.