WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has said he wants health care reform passed by the end of next week.
However, Democrats still may not have enough votes to pass the measure, so they may try another unusual maneuver instead.
Pelosi: We're Getting Close
Democrats say the tide is turning and they're feeling confident about their latest push for health care reform.
After a closed door meeting with congressional and White House officials Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., emerged saying she's "very pleased" about where they are.
In the past, she's proven masterful at getting the votes she needs. But after a death, resignations and at least one vote change in the House, some say the numbers simply don't add up to the 216 votes Pelosi needs.
In the Senate, all 41 Republican senators have sent Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. a letter saying they stand ready to counter any parliamentary maneuvers he may call for to get the bill passed.
"The fact that we're still even talking about a health care bill that raises costs, increases premiums, and increases government spending is a complete mystery to most people," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.
However, there's now talk in the Senate of passing the bill without taking a vote at all.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., has a plan for Democrats to use a procedural maneuver that would pass the Senate bill without an actual vote on it.
Obama Family Strife?
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the president's second cousin, Kansas radiologist Dr. Milton Wolf, wrote an editorial in the Washington Times criticizing the president's plan.
"The justification for 'Obamacare' has been to control costs," he wrote. "But the problem is there is little in Obamacare that will do that. Instead, there are provisions that will ration care and artificially set price."
"Price controls have failed spectacularly wherever they've been tried," the editorial continued. "I wish my cousin Barack the greatest of success in office. But I feel duty-bound to rise in opposition to Obamacare"
Even if Democrats pass health care reform, more than 30 states have already said 'no thanks' by filing or advancing legislation that rejects anticipated health insurance mandates.
On Wednesday, Virginia became the first state to pass such a bill.
"The obvious intent of the legislation, I think, was the state government saying to the United States Congress that 'If you if you have a provision in there mandating that Virginians are required under federal law to buy health insurance, we object to that,'" Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., said.
Meanwhile, the president is scheduled to make an emotional appeal in Ohio on Monday, near the hometown of an uninsured cancer patient whom Obama has made a symbol of the need for health care reform.