September 11 2009, 9:59 AM
Only a day after President Barack Obama promised a joint session of Congress that he would pursue a bipartisan solution to rein in the rising costs of health care and make care more accessible to more Americans, there were no Republicans in sight at the White House. Rather, the president met with 17 centrist Democrats, including Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, and although the controversial idea of a "public option" was only briefly discussed, it became clearer that Democrats are prepared to forge ahead on a plan without GOP support. "There was optimism that we can find a bipartisan path forward but also a sentiment that at some point it's time to act, and if Republicans in the Senate are not interested in finding a way forward and finding solutions, we're going to work with Democrats to come up with a comprehensive package," says Udall (via the Fort Collins Coloradoan). Udall was pressed by a reporter to comment about moving forward without Republicans, reports Fox News. "The president didn't rule out any approach," he said. "He underlined that he's continuing to reach out to Senators...I was expressing as much my sentiments and the sentiments of the Senators there [at the White House] as I was describing those [of] the president." Indeed, Republicans everywhere seem unwilling to back major elements of health care reform, according to The Pueblo Chieftain, writing, "That Democrats alone will write the reform bill is almost a certainty, given the Republican strategy of fighting the legislation."