McConnell: Reconciliation on health bill will provoke 'very severe reaction'

President Obama and congressional Democrats will face a "very, very severe" reaction if they push through health reform, the Senate's top Republican said Sunday.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned against using budget reconciliation to pass a healthcare reform bill, a procedural maneuver that would allow Democrats to pass a health bill with only a simple majority of votes, and not the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

"If they try to use this legislative loophole called reconciliation, what they'll be doing in effect is jamming through a proposal to rewrite the economy with about 24 hours of debate," McConnell argued during an appearance on CNN. "I think that that will produce a very, very severe reaction among the American people."

The Senate GOP leader stuck by his remarks Friday suggesting that Republicans are "winning" the debate over healthcare, though he rejected suggestions that the minority party would simply try to block any health bill.

"Winning is stopping and starting over and getting it right," he said.

He dodged a question about whether or not Obama would be able to sign a healthcare bill this year, however.

"I hate to make predictions," he said. "This is not a game, this is a serious matter, and we'll be glad to work with the administration to get the right outcome."