In "honor" of Barry's idiotic speech to Congress
The president told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., that it is important for them to pass health care reform bills soon, the sources said.
Both leaders told the president that despite the difficult rough and tumble of the legislative process in the last few weeks, they are optimistic that both the House and Senate can pass health care reform legislation.
Pelosi has the votes? She sure about that? John McCormack at the Weekly Standard notes this report from The Hill that basically says she's full of it:
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.
Many other Democratic members, including those berated by protesters at raucous town hall meetings in August, are still undecided.
Now, the Hill claims there's 23 Blue Dogs that are opposed to this, or undecided. But John McCormack has crunched the numbers, and he's come up with a much different number:
Hill reporter Michael O'Brien adds another Democrat to the list -- Arkansas's Mike Ross, who says he'll oppose any bill with a public insurance plan.
One more opponent is Jim Cooper of Tennessee, who wrote in a July op-ed that he would vote "no" on the bill.
Also, 19 Democratic members of Congress wrote in June that "we cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health plan." Twelve of these 19 congressmen aren't already on The Hill's list of "no" votes:
Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Tim Holden (Pa.)
Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
Solomon Ortiz (Tex.)
Jerry Costello (Ill.)
Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
James Oberstar (Minn.)
Steve Driehaus (Ohio)
Marcy Kaptur (Ohio)
John Murtha (Pa.)
Paul Kanjorski (Pa.)
Kathleen Dahlkamper (Pa.)
So that makes 37 Democratic votes in the House against Obamacare. And I'm sure I'm missing more than a few others.
Of course, members could be induced to change their mind if the bill is changed (or if they're bought off), but as it stands there are (almost) enough Democrats on record to defeat the current health-care legislation in the House.
Remember The Hill report above. Pelosi can only afford to lose 38 Blue Dogs, and if she's staring down 37 of them right now (and as John McCormack notes, he might've missed a couple) then she doesn't technically have the votes (unless, as noted above, they're bought off). And if she thinks she's got problems, Reid is just starting to see his headaches forming. After all, when you seem to have lost one of the biggest RINOs in the Senate you know you're in trouble: (HT to Allahpundit)
I met with the Senator personally during the August recess back here in Maine when she spoke with dozens of Maine folks in a series of health care talks throughout the state. Here is what I learned: She is worried about costs and the impact on the deficit, the public option plan is “off the table”, she wants more private insurance companies in Maine (we have 3), and she doesn’t support higher taxes - especially during a recession.
Those concerns and opinions were not from “unnamed sources,” they were straight from Senator Snowe…
So, my suggestion to the White House: put away your shovels, there is no Snowe in the forecast.
While I trust that Mr. Bragdon did meet with her, and she did tell him this, I don't trust her. She's never been one of those types of senators, like Mitch McConnell or John Kyl that is true to their word. But if this is true, she is just one of the headaches Reid is likely to have. Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Mark Pryor, Ron Wyden, Kent Conrad, Tom Carper, and Maria Cantwell mark other migraines he'll be dealing with. (In case Reid lost count there, that's eleven headaches, which means he doesn't have cloture, AND he doesn't have the 51 votes for a reconciliation option.)
And after Max Baucus came up with this gem yesterday those headaches Reid is trying to avoid just might get nastier:
The plan from Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana would make health insurance mandatory, just like auto coverage. It would provide tax credits to help cover the cost for people making up to three times the federal poverty level. That's about $66,000 for a family of four, and $32,000 for an individual.
But those who still don't sign up would face hefty fines, starting at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. The maximum penalty on individuals would be $950.
The maximum fine for families would be $3800. So, you'll either join or face fines that will hurt the average citizen financially in the middle of a seriously deep recession. In fact, one of the men who saw this recession coming and saw how long it would last is now predicting a double-dip recession. Mr. Roubini predicts that as the economy starts to show signs of rebounding next year, the second half could see those gains slip. If the president forces this health care bill down our throats, if Reid and Pelosi strongarm their colleagues into supporting this, the economic recovery will take much, much longer. (Yes, I'm aware that the reforms wouldn't begin to take effect until 2013, but if we experience that double-dip prediction, money will be much tighter for everyone. Oh, and let's not forget one of the provisions in HR 3200 would compel the IRS to levy these fines, and force your enrollment.)
Barry needs to face the fact that the majority of this nation don't want this reform. And it's not even real reform. It's an attempt by the Congress to begin the seizure of the health care industry. It will force private insurance companies out of business. It will produce rationing. It will treat the most innocent and helpless amongst us as afterthoughts. It's not right for the nation at all, and it's time the president understood that. Instead of this massive overhaul, why not start reform with real reform. Namely tort reform, and couple it with health savings accounts that are paid for by tax credits. Additionally, let people by insurance over state lines.
In short, let the consumer of health insurance find the best deal for themselves and their families. Government mandated and government run health care isn't the solution.