Biden steadfastly denies that health reform is dead

The Obama administration's bid for healthcare reform is not dead, Vice President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday.

Biden denied that the besieged effort to reform the nation's healthcare system would be shelved some amid media reports that the package before Congress was dead in its current form.

"We don't believe this is over yet," Biden said during an interview on MSNBC. "We're still, as the president said in the State of the Union, going to fight for this healthcare proposal"

The vice president ducked a question that he had advised President Barack Obama to not pursue healthcare reform at the beginning of his administration, and praised the president for going after the landmark bill.

"The president was right from the beginning," he said. "The way to reduce the deficit -- one of the three ways to do that -- is to get a healthcare plan."

Democrats have scrambled to figure out how they will pass a healthcare bill after having lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate after a special election loss last month in Massachusetts.

Biden said that the White House would reach out to Republicans over the next month, among other strategies, to pursue a health bill.

But the vice president steadfastly denied that the proposal was dead throughout the interview.

"With regard to healthcare, the biggest loser in the healthcare package going down -- temporarily, because we don't believe it's gone -- is small businesses," Biden said.

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