Does Pelosi Have the Votes?

House Democrats in a preliminary whip count Monday night fell well short of the 218 votes needed to pass the “robust,” in-your-face government run health care option.  The Washington Post “Plum Line” blog reported late yesterday a leaked internal whip count document that shows support for H.R. 3200 falling short of even the 200 vote margin.

The whip count was assembled by the office of Rep. James Clyburn (D-Ga.), the House Majority Whip, and was shared with the so-called “progressives” (their euphemism for “liberals”) at a private meeting with Clyburn. It’s some comment on the libs that even they don’t want to be called libs.

According to the report, the radical leftist members blame leadership and the President.  One person “familiar with the meeting” said that there was an aggressive radical “progressive” whine fest saying leadership should be doing much more to twist arms and shake down members of their caucus to get the needed votes.  

Sources in the report blamed the White House and House Democratic leadership for the government option’s failure to garner enough votes for passage.

Kristie Greco, spokesman for Clyburn’s office said, “We currently do not have the votes for a robust public option."

The leaked document revealed that 47 House Democrats are a hard “No” vote. That leaves 209, which is nine short of the 218 votes needed for passage.  Eight Democrats are leaning toward “No” (totaling 56 in the no/leaning toward no leaving only 200 votes for the bill) with 12 undecided.   Twelve members are listed “undecided” (that’s an invitation for a “gimme something” trade).

House liberals are urgently demanding more action from their leaders, convinced the vote count can be changed with the right amount of carrot and stick pressure.  Like good little statists they’re not really interested in what the American people actually want from our representative government.  They’re only interested in the government power to do what they think is best for the great unwashed bitterly clinging to their guns and Bibles.

The far left radicals are so close to their statist health care power grab only to see it slipping away because of that little thing called “consent of the governed.”  Keep those calls and letters coming, America!

Lackluster Support for Harrycare

The battle over Harrycare in the Senate has begun with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) coming up on short in the support department for his new “opt out” proposal.  Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) were three who spoke out against the Harrycare government-run option yesterday.

“I said to him, Harry, I’m going to support the motion to proceed, because I think we’ve got to start this debate, but if the idea that you have for a so-called public option stays in there at the end, I’m not going to support an end to a filibuster to try to stop this bill because I think such a government-run health insurance company will be bad for our country and really will hurt taxpayers,” Lieberman said.

The motion to proceed would merely bring the bill to the floor for debate to begin.  The vote for cloture to end debate is quite another thing.  No Lieberman vote to end a filibuster and there is no end to floor debate.  The Senate rules require 60 votes to end debate on the bill.  And the “opt out” public option bill will die in the Senate.  

That ought to really please the radical kooks who unsuccessfully tried to run Lieberman out of office.  It’s got to be sweet for the Senator when he can, with one vote, stop at least this attempt to pass the heart and soul of their radical statist agenda: government control over every aspect of America’s health care system.

Should Lieberman stand firm throughout this government public option debate, the only route to passage for in for the Senate would be to use the nuclear option (reconciliation) we’ve discussed so many times in this space.

But Lieberman is not alone.  Democrats spoke out yesterday about problems they’re having with the bill, among them Sen. Bayh.

“There are a variety of other things that might work better,” Bayh said.  “The question is, is this enough flexibility for states to account for their own circumstances and the answer to that is perhaps.  I’d like to see an analysis from an independent source about what this will mean to premiums for the people who have insurance will pay.  If this is going to increase the premiums that people who have insurance are going to pay, I would have a very hard time supporting something like that.”

Sen. Bayh, there is an accounting of the “Baucus bill” (pdf) by the PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm — respected worldwide for its accuracy and methodology.  

PricewaterhouseCooper found that the average cost of health insurance today is $4,600 for an individual but that would increase to a whopping $9,700 for an individual by 2019, ten short years, if provisions in the Senate “Baucus Bill” are enacted, outpacing projected price increases in the current system by thousands of dollars.  

Obamacare does not control the cost of health insurance.  Quite the contrary, it will create yet another government entity that is “too big to fail” that taxpayers will constantly have to bail out at a price tag of untold billions and even trillions over the coming decades.  The only real way to lower prices on health insurance premiums is by dropping barriers to allow health insurance to be sold across state lines.

Sen. Snowe has also pulled her support as the lone Republican voting in favor of the Senate Finance Committee proposal otherwise known as the “Baucus Bill.”  She appears to be standing firm in her opposition to at least the in-your-face government-run health care.

“I was disappointed when I heard the news,” Snowe said.  “I thought it was important to create a bi-partisan approach to health care reform to the extent that it was possible.”

There goes that “bi-partisan” fig leaf thing.  Democrats officially own the government-run public option.

Stay alert, tuned in and in communication with your Senate and House representatives.  We can defeat nationalized health care.


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