Dole and Baker undercut Obama on health reform

Planet Washington

President Obama told Fox News Wednesday that the Democrats’ health care plan “tracks” the recommendations offered by some prominent former Republican Senate leaders, Bob Dole and Howard Baker.

But Dole and Baker don’t think so.The former Kansas and Tennessee senators, respectively, think the plan “has gone off the tracks.”

Here’s what Obama told Fox in an interview:

“I think what we’ve seen during the course of this year is that we have come up with a bill that basically tracks the recommendations of Tom Daschle, former Democratic senator and leader, but also Bob Dole, former Republican leader, Howard Baker, former Republican leader. The ideas embodied in this legislation are not left, they’re not right…”

Here’s what Dole and Baker, said in a statement today:

“Speaking for ourselves, we have supported a bipartisan approach to health care reform as it is certainly needed. While there are similarities with our proposals, there are significant differences, and we believe this one has gone off the tracks. It was our hope that instead of a cliffhanger there could have been a landslide on the final votes.”

Daschle, a former Senate majority leader and Obama ally, was not part of the statement. All three head the Bipartisan Policy Center, a nonprofit think tank designed to find across-the-aisle solution to thorny political issues.

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