Deadline, What Deadline?

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Late on Monday, Sen. Mike Enzi, not exactly a household name but an important figure in the health care debate, said that he didn't feel obligated to meet a September 15 deadline to pass a healthcare bill. The Wyoming Republican is just the latest to balk at the idea of a deadline. Recall that the White House wanted a health care bill before Congress left for its August recess. That got rolled back and the middle of September has been the latest line in the sand. But the truth is that all of these deadlines are pretty useless.

No one has the power to enforce them. So when a powerful member of the Finance Committee like Enzi decides to balk what difference does it make? It always seemed like a weak idea to me for President Obama to chirp about a deadline when it's so easily ignored by Congress.

Anyway, Democrats were gonna wait until September 15 for the bipartisan group of Senate Finance Committee negotiators to come up with something. But now that Enzi's not on board for that, we may just see the Democrats push ahead with their own bill.

Cooper's prediction is that we get some health care bill but it's not universal.

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Matthew Cooper is a managing editor (White House) for National Journal.

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