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January 21st, 2010 12:36 pm
Pelosi: We Don’t Have the Votes to Pass Senate Health Care Bill
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Any Democratic pipe dream about quick passage of their health care plan was shot down today.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House simply doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate version of the bill.

This means the bill will not likely be on the President’s desk by his second third fourth fifth sixth deadline, which was supposed to be the State of the Union.  The House will need to make changes and then pass those amendments on to the Senate, with their reduced majority.

The path for health care now follows moderates in the House and Senate.  After hearing the Massachusetts wakeup call loud and clear (presumably), it will be moderates that decide the fate of the bill.  It will be much harder for partisans in leadership to whip members when the political environment is so hostile for Democrats.

The best case scenario (worst case for taxpayers) is that Democrats cobble together enough votes to pass a shell of health care reform: expand Medicare and Medicaid, and ban discrimination against pre-existing conditions.  There doesn’t appear to be enough votes for a government-run public option or an individual mandate.

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