The Democrats will pass a health care reform bill even if it means abandoning efforts at bipartisanship and passing the bill with only Demcoratic votes, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told NBC's Today Show.
"We prefer to go at it with the Republicans," Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, told NBC's Matt Lauer. "But we're not going to not pass a bill. The future of the country depends on getting something done, or the government will go broke, businesses will go broke, and people will go broke (because of) health care."
Schumer debated Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who argued that the Democrats' health reform bill would add to the deficit and put onerous new tax burdens on businesses. Schumer retorted by pointing out the Congressional Budget Office estimated the health bill would actually reduce the deficit.
Schumer also disputed Hutchison's claim that the Republicans want to offer an alternative health reform plan of their own. The Republicans "haven't put any plan on the floor," Schumer said. "The Republican Party has just said no, no, no. We spent months negotiating with Sens. [Chuck] Grassley, [Mike] Enzi and [Olympia] Snowe. The pressure on them on from the [Republican] party leadership to back away was enormous."
Added the New York Democrat: "It will get done if we have to do it with just 60 Democratic votes. We will come together and do it, we prefer Republicans [to be involved], but we must get it done for the sake of the country."
This video is from NBC's Today Show, broadcast Nov. 23, 2009.