Dems Strategize on Health Care Vote without GOP

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WASHINGTON - The Senate's Republican leader says the White House's health care summit was important because it allowed GOP lawmakers to show their expertise on the issue and explain their opposition.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also predicts that all 41 Republican senators will vote against the health care overhaul legislation if it comes to a vote.

McConnell says last week's summit gave the GOP the chance "to display some of our brightest, most knowledgeable Republicans" and explain why people oppose reform legislation that is a "massive government takeover of health care."

He spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."
     
Meanwhile, the White House's top health care official is optimistic that Democrats will have the votes to pass a major health care overhaul.

Presidential adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle says it makes sense to have a "simple up-or-down vote" on legislation, now that Democrats lack the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican stalling tactics.

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.

DeParle notes that the House and Senate already have passed versions of health care overhaul.

She tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that she believes "we will have the votes to pass this in Congress."
     
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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