So, rather inevitably, the fate of health care reform now rests largely with a group of Blue Dog Democrats in the House. More specifically, the question is: Can Nancy Pelosi convince a small fraction of her caucus to endorse the Senate version of the bill, even though they initially rejected the House’s iteration? She’ll need to flip these members to her side because the abortion provisions in the Senate bill will necessarily cost her some votes. The media chatter is all about these members' political calculus: How unpopular is health care reform in their districts?
Jonathan Bernstein calls health care reform almost a done deal: I should emphasize here that it is very, very rare for the majority to lose a high-stakes vote on final passage on the House floor. You just don't bring a bill to the floor unless you know you're going to win. I can't imagine a reason that Nancy Pelosi and the White House would bring this to the floor knowing that they were going to lose, for some sort of spin advantage. They either know that they have the votes, or it's the biggest bluff in who knows how long. Keep watching: does the president really announce the schedule tom