By Eric Zimmermann - 03/14/10 03:37 PM EDT
One of the president's top advisers confidently predicted Sunday that
Congress will pass healthcare reform and dared Republicans to advocate
repealing it during the 2010 elections.
White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod said Democrats will have enough votes to pass healthcare by the time it comes to the House floor.
And Axelrod, who was a top strategist on Obama's 2008 campaign, said he relished the prospect of Republicans campaigning on a repeal of the legislation in 2010.
Axelrod said that the GOP would have to explain why insurance comapnies should once again be able to discriminate against customers on the basis of pre-existing conditions, for example.
"Let's have that fight," he said. "Make my day."
Axelrod's confidence comes as House Democratic leaders are scrambling to cobble together enough votes to pass the Senate bill, which could later be modified in separate legislation.
That vote, according to Axelrod, could come as early as this week.
Republicans have repeatedly argued that the American people oppose the current legislation. Axelrod acknowledged on ABC's "This Week" that surface level polls are often gloomy for Democrats, but "when you go underneath, [Americans] support the elements of the plan."
Axelrod brushed off Republican criticisms that Democrats were
subverting the rules of the Senate by potentially using budget
reconciliation to pass fixes to the current legislation.
Americans, Axelrod said, "don't know or care much about the sequencing of parliamentary procedures."