The Health Care fight is not over – Kimberly Strassel in the Wall Street Journal details the behind the scenes strategizing in the “Health Lady Has Yet to Sing“:
Mrs. Pelosi (still) has a math challenge. Of her three-yes-vote margin, Democrat Robert Wexler has resigned; his seat remains unfilled until April. Republican Joseph Cao won’t be the final vote for a Democratic bill. As for the 39 Dems who initially voted against the legislation, a vote flip now would be an invitation to be singled outa la Blanche Lincolnas the individual who brought the nation ObamaCare.
The potential for flips the other way is big. Michigan pro-lifer Bart Stupak is still vowing that he and up to 10 other Democrats will bolt without his abortion language. Some 190 members have signed a letter demanding the end of the tax on high-value health planswhich President Obama needs to fund the bill. Liberals are still vowing revenge for the death of the public option (though the Award for Most Empty Threats in One Debate still goes to this crew.)
House Republicans smell at least a whiff of blood, enough to launch a campaign targeting 37 Democrats who may have a case of yes-vote regrets. These include members like Oregon freshman Kurt Schrader; 49% of his seniors are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, which will be gutted under the legislation. Also up for special attention are Democrats hailing from flat-broke states that will nonetheless be saddled with huge new Medicaid costs under the bill.
Critics of the legislation shouldn’t get their hopes too high. The Democratic leadership is now clinically obsessed with passage. No first-round yes vote has yet jumped ship, and even if some do, Mrs. Pelosi has options. Prior no votes might be convinced that a more “moderate” Senate bill gives them cover to flip. Three no votes, including Tennessee’s John Tanner, are retiring, and may feel liberated. The White House no doubt has a list of plum jobs it can offer people as consolation prizes for voting yes and losing their seats.
The point is rather that there is now officially enough nervousness that anything can happen. Whatever the Tuesday election outcome, Mr. Brown already claims victory for rattling Democratic minds. And should he win, health care becomes even more toxic. This isn’t over yet.
Full article shows the Dems sweating.