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February 25, 2010

Cantor: The Bill's Dead

As mentioned before, Cantor says the bill is effectively dead.

In a pre-summit talk, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor says Democrats are trying to create a sense of "false momentum" about their national health care bill -- a bill Cantor says is dead and losing more support every day. "We have to continue the fight to make sure [it is dead]," Cantor says, "but all signs indicate now they cannot pass this in the House."

...

"It's been interesting the radio silence on the other side about the vote count at this point," Cantor says. "Clyburn is walking it back, and Hoyer is certainly being very cautious in everything he is saying. There's nothing coming from the Speaker's office. They've got real problems."

...

Cantor sees no change coming from today's summit. The Democratic belief that President Obama can revive the bill by the power of his presence is misplaced, he says. "It's the policy that people are opposed to," Cantor says. "It's not Obama. It's what his policies are. To try and have him use personality to convince the public to support a bad bill -- the time for that is over. The public has decided that this bill is a nonstarter."

He cites pro-life forces as being instrumental in defeating the bill.

The WSJ reports Obama is preparing a Plan B-- well, a Plan C. Plan B was reconciliation. Plan C is a greatly scaled back program,
costing $250 billion,
which will be despised by liberals for spending too little and conservatives for spending too much.

[Obama's] leading alternate approach would provide health insurance to perhaps 15 million Americans, about half what the comprehensive bill would cover, according to two people familiar with the planning.

It would do that by requiring insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents' health plans, and by modestly expanding two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, one person said. The cost to the federal government would be about one-fourth the price tag for the broader effort, which the White House has said would cost about $950 billion over 10 years.

Officials cautioned that no final decisions had been made but said the smaller plan's outlines are in place in case the larger plan fails.

Such a move would disappoint many Democrats, including Mr. Obama. They have worked for more than a year to pass comprehensive legislation like the plan the president unveiled Monday, which would cover the bulk of the 46 million uninsured people in the U.S., set new rules for health insurers and try to control spiraling health-care costs.

Liberal Democrats in particular would be dismayed by any ratcheting back of ambitions. But more-conservative Democrats nervous about the fall elections could be more comfortable with a scaled-back measure.

The White House is vigorously denying the story, through its toady Ezra Klein at the Washington Post. But Steny Hoyer says it's a possibility.


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posted by Ace at 12:06 PM

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