Rep. Kucinich, a leading liberal in the House today said he would vote no on the Senate bill because it does not contain a public option and does not move toward a single payer (Medicare for everyone) which is his preferred choice. And several Dems who voted yes have made clear they will only vote yes if the Stupak language or something like it is included in a clean up reconciliation bill. Stupak said today he is more optimistic than he was a week ago.
There is no policy discussion left, just abortion politics and the Democratic party deciding whether they can govern the country or not. There have been a variety of times that reform seemed dead over the past year.
*When the original CBO score of HR 3200 came back in June 2009, saying the bill greatly increased the deficit over 10 years; they went back and greatly increased the fiscal responsibility of the bill
*The August recess and fictitious death panels
*The President's speech in September bought some time and the Senate finance committee passed a bill with Olympia Snowe's vote
*And Sen. Reid added the public option to the Senate bill, lost Sen. Snowe and eventually removed the public option from the Senate bill
*The Scott Brown election
It could have ended at any of these times. But, it is still alive.
As many have noted, ideas like reform die when all goes quiet, people pledge support but say we don't have time now we will get back to it. Much the opposite, the President has forced this back front and center. He must think he can deliver the votes in the end. The day of the State of the Union, I said there was a 5% chance the Senate bill was passed by the House. I think now I would say the chances are 50-60%. We will see.