Pelosi brushes off comparisons to '94 health failure

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) affirmed Sunday that she will have the votes to pass a satisfactory healthcare reform package.

"When I take this bill to the floor, it will win," Pelosi told CNN's John King, adding that "we will move forward, this will happen."

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The Speaker brushed off comparisons to 1994, when Democrats failed to pass healthcare reform and ended up getting crushed during the midterm elections.

"I don't need to remind you that the healthcare bill did not pass at that time," Pelosi said. "I think the American people want us to perform."

A handful of moderate Democrats, however, sounded more cautious notes on Sunday.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, said the Senate can not pass a plan without Republican votes, and that Congress must keep working until a bipartisan compromise can be achieved.

"There are not the votes for Democrats to do this just on our side of the aisle," Conrad said on ABC's "This Week," adding that a partisan approach "is not possible, and perhaps not desirable either."

Much of the cause for delay in the House is the reticence of fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats. A leading Blue Dog said Sunday that the House should consider entirely new proposals that might be more cost effective.

"We can try to mend the current bills that are in Congress, or there are other options that are bipartisan," Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Cooper specifically cited a plan crafted by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Bob Bennett (R-Utah).

"There are other alternative approaches that I think Congress ought to be allowed to consider," Cooper said.

Nevertheless, Cooper said he was encouraged by reports that the White House would accept a tax on so-called "Cadillac" healthcare plans to help finance a reform package.

"That's a very interesting and promising development in the discussions," Cooper said.

Republicans, meanwhile, blasted Democrats' proposals for failing to control costs and suggested that a public plan would lead to a government takeover of healthcare.

"I can pretty safely say there are no Senate Republicans that think a government plan is a good idea," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN's John King.

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"There won't be any more private healthcare comapnies and there won't be any competition," McConnell said, adding that Republicans would like to "start over with a genuine bipartisan approach."

The White House and Democratic leaders have been pushing to pass legislation sooner than later, believing that any type of delay will increase the chances of the entire package failing.

Conrad did not commit to any deadline, saying only “we’ll be ready when we’re ready.”

A senior White House adviser, meanwhile, would not rule out asking Congress to forego its August recess in order to press forward on the legislation.

“I think it’s unlikely that will happen, but, you know, I’m not going to prejudge this,” David Axelrod said on CBS, adding that it's an issue for congressional leaders to decide.

Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said that if Republicans could defeat the Democratic legislation, it would become Obama's "Waterloo."

DeMint did not back down Sunday, telling ABC that the president has been "leading a stampede" of government intervention into the economy.

Obama used "bogus numbers and panic" to pass the stimulus, and "now he's trying to use similar strategy on healthcare," DeMint warned.

"We could have a plan in a few weeks if the goal is not a government takeover," DeMint said.