Axelrod says July goal on healthcare reform is realistic

White House senior adviser David Axelrod told The Hill on his way into a luncheon with Democrats on health care reform that the Obama administration believes a July date for health care reform is realistic in the Senate.

"We think so," Axelrod said. "We appreciate the commitment of the speaker and we want to make that happen."

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was more cautious, however, declining to guarantee that the legislation can be passed by that month since the plan has multiple components that must go through multiple committees.

"I don't know. I can't tell you," he said. "We do have some challenges here... Senator Baucus and the Finance Committee are working overtime, and they want to have their part of the work product finished - I don't want to give a date, but soon. They really are working hard on it, and so we have to get the other complimentary parts through the HELP committee and other places to make this a total package. If they can do it by July 31 in the House, that'll be a great starting point."

- J. Taylor Rushing