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Landrieu: Health reform 'on life support'

From NBC's Ken Strickland
Moderate Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said the comprehensive health-care bill is "on life support" and criticized President Obama for not laying out a clear path to pass it in his State of the Union address. 

Asked for a status report on the bill, she said "I think it's on life support, unfortunately. But it still has a pulse. And I think the president's suggestion about a cooling off period, short cooling off period, might be good to give us a chance to sort of reorganize and reorder."

Landrieu said she remained committed to passing health care reform if it's "done the right way."  But she says that would not include a fast track procedure called reconciliation which Republicans and some moderate Democrats oppose. "There's not an appetite to pass much at all--if anything--through reconciliation."

The Louisiana Democrat said her diagnosis on health care was based on her discussions with members of the House. Under the most likely strategy to pass the reform bill, the House would eventually have to pass the Senate's version.

"There just doesn't seem to be the votes in the House at this time, particularly among the 'Blue Dogs' and moderate Democrats who we're really talking to over there to figure out how to move this forward," she said.

Landrieu said the in his speech last night, the President should have given an explicit strategy for how he wanted Congress to pass the bill. Democratic leaders have struggled to find a solution since Republican Scott Brown was elected to the Senate in Massachusetts.

"I think the president should have been more clear about a way forward... and I'm hoping that in the next week or two he will be because that's what it's going to take if it's at all possible to get this done," she said. "Mailing in general suggestions, sending them over the transom is not necessarily going to work."