Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi led the charge yesterday:

The quote is so good it’s worth repeating in writing:

We’ll go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, we’ll go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people, for their own personal health and economic security, and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.

Pelosi was joined by a chorus of Democrats yesterday saying the same thing. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller:

We’re going to get it done this year.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman:

I think we will pass a big health care bill. I think the president will insist that we keep the promise. We’re going to have to figure out a different route now that we dont have 60 Democrats, but the Republicans are not helping us.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

We’re going to do health care reform this year. The question is, at this stage, procedurally, how do we get where we need to go.

Senator Max Baucus:

We’re not going to put it down. We’re moving expeditiously. And expeditiously means quickly, solidly, thoughtfully.

President Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod:

There were plenty of people who said before the speech last night, just stand up there and say ‘It’s over.’ Say ‘We tried,’ and move on because it’s too politically difficult. And that’s not what he did and we are working closely with folks on the Hill to develop the way forward and get this done and that’s all we’re focused on, on health care, is getting it done.

These are the leaders who have the power to pass health reform. Now, it’s our job to make sure they finish reform and finish reform right.

Both houses of Congress must pass comprehensive health care reform by majority vote as quickly as possible. They have the tools to make it happen. As Axelrod said, "Reconciliation is a tool that is there to be used." And the human toll of waiting is simply to high. Health reform must be finished, and it must be finished right.

(also posted at the NOW! blog)

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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.