GOP to Dems: Start Over on Health Care

Not so fast, say top senators as White House pushes ahead
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2010 11:41 AM CST
GOP to Dems: Start Over on Health Care
In this Jan. 19, 2010, file photo David Axelrod, President Obama's senior political adviser, is seen through a window in the West Wing of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – President Obama's elite advisers poured onto the Sunday shows to beat the health reform drum today—and ran right into a wall of Republicans, euphoric from Tuesday's victory in Massachusetts. Even as David Axelrod emphasized that Americans "want Brown to work with us and not be obstructionist," GOP leaders from Mitch McConnell to Orrin Hatch to John McCain had a singular message for the left: Start over. Snippets:

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  • Time for Dems to go back to the health reform drawing table, says Orrin Hatch. “We weren’t even involved in this process,” he told State of the Union. “You bet your life we’d have to start over.”
  • "To suggest that we have closed the door to them and not engaged" Republicans is malarkey, countered Dick Durbin.
  • “I did not want this to be the president’s Waterloo," said Jim DeMint of health reform, despite comments to the contrary last summer.
  • The White House is trying to figure "what’s the art of the possible" in terms of health reform, says Valerie Jarrett. She dismissed the Massachusetts vote as a referendum, noting, "The people in Massachusetts already have" it.
(Read more Valerie Jarrett stories.)

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