President Obama, Democrats: Not Going to Rush Health Care

Newly-elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown arrived in Washington, D.C. today as the man of the hour.

Two months ago, few would have heard of the state senator, and rarely has a freshman senator come to the nation's capital with so much fanfare. But Brown's shocking win has rattled the political world and threatens to topple Democrats' health care agenda, even before he is sworn in.

Brown told reporters today that he thinks President Obama has done a good job on some issues, such as dealing with North Korea and Iran, but that the Democrats' health care agenda is not good for Massachusetts.

VIDEO: George Stephanopoulos highlights key moments from his talk with the president.
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"I am not in the favor of one size fits all. I am more of a states' rights person," Brown said.

Standing outside the Senate building, he added, "This is the best place in the world when it comes to solving problems, and we've sort of lost our way."

Brown met with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and interim Massachusetts Sen. Paul Kirk. He won't become a senator until the election results are officially certified, and that could take another week but his win has already shaken up health care strategies.

Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., acknowledged that there will not be enough votes in the House to pass the Senate health care bill, as had been suggested as a way to enact the health care bill and avoid another Senate vote on it before Brown is seated.

VIDEO: Republican Scott Browns Senate victory means an uncertain future for the bill.
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"It is not possible to pass the Senate bill in its present form," Pelosi told reporters. "In every meeting that we've had, there's been nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way it is."

Pelosi said "unease" would be a "gentle word" to categorize the feelings of members of the House, many of whom are taking issues with provisions in the Senate bill that give breaks to Nebraska and other states, and an excise tax on high-end insurance plans. But the speaker insisted that health care discussions will move forward.

"Nothing is being discarded. Everything is on the table," she said.

Democrats admitted Wednesday that they may have to accept a trimmed down version of their health care bill.

Nightline Exclusive: The President
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"The election in Massachusetts changes the math in the Senate," Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters Wednesday. "It's easy math. It's simple math."

The new math: Senate Democrats do not have enough votes they need to avoid a Republican filibuster of any major bill, including health care. Brown has vowed he will be the 41st senator to vote against the health care legislation being crafted in Congress by Democrats, who say, for now, they will have to wait.

Presidency in Peril
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Brown defeated heavily favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

President Obama warned Democrats not to "jam" a health care reform bill through now that they've lost their commanding majority in the Senate, and said they must wait for Brown to be sworn into office.

"Here's one thing I know and I just want to make sure that this is off the table: The Senate certainly shouldn't try to jam anything through until Scott Brown is seated," the president told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview. "People in Massachusetts spoke. He's got to be part of that process."

A Year on the Job
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Read the transcript of President Obama's exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos.

Reid got the message.

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