During the bipartisan health care reform summit, President Obama said that they would try to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue. But Obama finally admitted that they simply might not be able to bridge the divide. There is just no way Republicans are going to vote for Obama's omnibus health care reform bill.
By finally, publicly acknowledging that bipartisanship on health care reform might not be possible, Obama is creating the political space for Democrats to work on a partisan health care bill. This should help pave the way for using reconciliation.
This is something Obama should have acknowledged months ago, back in August, when it became clear the Republican party would not support health care reform. Instead of wasting months try to win over Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and trying to thread the 60-vote needle as support for reform keep falling month after month, Democrats should have moved forward with reconciliation and finished reform last September.
Bipartisan health care reform was not going to happen, and everyone has know that for months. If Obama had pushed Democrats to move forward with a partisan reconciliation bill months ago, and, instead of spending months wooing Snowe, spent that time clearly explaining to the American people that the divide was too great between Republicans and Democrats, reform would have been finished by now. The partisan cover from Obama was and is needed, but now it might have come too late.