Health Care Overhaul Is On An Uncertain Path President Obama is still working on his top domestic priority: a health care bill. The administration is optimistic that Democrats will have the votes to pass legislation. The Senate's Democratic leaders are try to devise a strategy for passing the legislation with a simple 51-vote majority. There are 57 Democrats in the Senate and two Democratic leaning independents.
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Health Care Overhaul Is On An Uncertain Path

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Health Care Overhaul Is On An Uncertain Path

Health Care Overhaul Is On An Uncertain Path

Health Care Overhaul Is On An Uncertain Path

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President Obama is still working on his top domestic priority: a health care bill. The administration is optimistic that Democrats will have the votes to pass legislation. The Senate's Democratic leaders are try to devise a strategy for passing the legislation with a simple 51-vote majority. There are 57 Democrats in the Senate and two Democratic leaning independents.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Here at home, President Obama's still working on his number one domestic priority, the health care bill, which remains on an uncertain path, to say the least. Joining us now, as she does most Mondays, is NPR news analyst Cokie Roberts. Cokie, Good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: So, the Democrats are trying to use what they're now calling an expedited procedure here, to get through the Senate without the 60 votes that apparently they don't have. How's this work?

ROBERTS: But the Democrats have come to the conclusion it's better to take their chances with that, rather than have no health care bill, but it is a very risky decision.

INSKEEP: Is it worth taking a few seconds - because you've followed Congress for so long, Cokie - Republicans are saying this is extraordinary, it's unusual; Democrats are saying, come on. It's a simple majority vote and Republicans have used it all the time. Who's closer to the truth?

ROBERTS: But it was portrayed as a vote for civil rights, which in fact, it was. And they lost their seats. So, these can be tough.

INSKEEP: We're talking with NPR's Cokie Roberts about political developments around the country. Democrats have trouble in Congress, trying to get health care through, and they also have trouble in New York State where the Democratic governor says he's stepping down. What makes this so serious for the Democratic Party?

ROBERTS: Well, they're greatly relieved that Governor David Paterson has announced that he's not going to run again. But he did that after a revelation that he had used state troopers to convince a woman not to testify against one of his aides on a serious domestic violence charge. And that is really just something he cannot survive. The question is whether he can stay in office for the rest of his term, much less run again. Democrats are having a tough time out there.

INSKEEP: Well, in a couple of seconds, can this affect other Democrats?

ROBERTS: Probably not, because New York is a special case and Democrats are likely to win in New York. But they're having trouble in other states for other reasons.

INSKEEP: Cokie, thanks very much. That's NPR News analyst Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Monday mornings.

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