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September 08, 2009

Counting The Votes In The House On Health Care. It's Pretty Tight

The Hill ran the numbers.

At least 23 House Democrats already have told constituents or hometown media that they oppose the massive healthcare overhaul touted by President Barack Obama.

If Republicans offer the blanket opposition they’ve promised, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose only 38 members of her 256-member caucus and still pass the bill.

Most Democrats opposed to healthcare reform argue it costs too much, imposes a new tax and fines businesses that don’t provide insurance to employees. Some fear that the bill would subsidize abortion.

One reason not listed by the Hill for opposing the bill is the public option. Would any of those 23 no votes switch to yes if it's dropped? Suppose all 23 will vote no regardless of whether or not there's a public option. Would 15 progressives will drop out in protest of there being no government plan?

Naturally, there's the question of Republicans crossing over but none did in either the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce or Education and Labor committees.

Even allowing for overlapping assignments, that's a good portion of the Republican conference.

There's a lot to still play out here and enough changes could be made to switch some no votes but the margin for error on the Democratic side is pretty thin. And then there's still the Senate.

Obviously Obama will blame the Republicans. It's a prospect the Republicans should welcome.


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posted by DrewM. at 03:53 PM

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