WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Al Franken pointedly told senior White House adviser David Axelrod Wednesday that the Obama administration hasn’t done enough to advance health care reform.
The exchange, first reported by the Huffington Post, occurred at the end of a closed-door question-and-answer session between Senate Democrats and White House officials Wednesday. Sources familiar with the meeting confirmed the exchange.
Franken asked Axelrod what the plan was going to be going forward, and was there going to be more coming out message-wise. Axelrod’s response talked about the importance of health care reform, an answer Franken reportedly didn’t find satisfactory. At that point a group of three to five senators jumped in to agree with Franken, the source said.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders confirmed his involvement to the Huffington Post. A White House spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Franken has advocated for the House passing the Senate’s health care bill if senators agree to fix the bill using the reconciliation process, which would require just 51 votes, telling a group of health care activists that he fears it’s “now versus never” for health care reform.