Chill Out: Pelosi Hasn't Thrown in the Towel on Health-Care
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People are getting way too worked up about Nancy Pelosi's announcement that she doesn't have the votes to pass the Senate's health reform bill right now.
"In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is," Pelosi said yesterday, "There isn't a market right now for proceeding with the full bill unless some big changes are made."
Now, maybe Pelosi doesn't have the votes right now, but such is the life of the Speaker of the House. Just because she doesn't have the votes in hand doesn't necessarily mean she can't get them.
If Pelosi does have the votes right now, she'd be a fool to say so. In the wake of Martha Coakley's defeat, all eyes are on the House. If health care reform is to survive, the House will have to pass the Senate bill "as is." But that wouldn't necessarily be the end of the story. The Senate could still fix some stuff the House doesn't like through budget reconciliation. In theory, it could even put the public option back.
Pelosi would be foolish announce that the House could pass the Senate bill right off the bat.