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The votes -- do Dems have them or not?

By Matt DeLong

Whether or not Democrats have the votes to pass President Obama's health-care reform is the question on everyone's mind in Washington right now. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) the chairman of the Democratic Caucus, declared unambiguously on ABC's "This Week" -- and then again on CNN's "State of the Union" -- that "We have the votes now -- as we speak."

But on NBC's "Meet the Press," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Democrats were still counting votes, but would have them when the House votes sometime today.

"There are still members looking at it, trying to make up their minds," Hoyer said. "We think 216 plus votes when we call the roll."

And on "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) agreed with Hoyer.

"We don't have a hard 216 right now," Wasserman Schultz said.

It seems we'll have to wait a bit longer before we know for sure.

By 44 Editor  |  March 21, 2010; 10:06 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

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Posted by: FranciseaIbeeria | March 22, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

America will be marginalized by going socialist? Marginalized to what other country? Japan? China? Germany? England? Canada? France? Sweden? All those places are far more socialist than the U.S., and all but China have demonstrably better health care. So please explain. Also, please explain how the health care bill under consideration is socialist to begin with. I was under the impression that profit-driven HMOs will continue to exist.

Posted by: JPMinNC | March 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Haha.... where's Congressman Kanjorski?!? He hasn't committed either way yet! Either way he votes, he's going to upset lots of people. He's definitely pro-life and would need strong anti-abortion protections in the bill... but... Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is also home to a SallieMae processing center -- and the student loan bill they're planning on adding on during reconciliation is likely not thing Kanjo would support without more promises.... Plus there's always the teabaggers... I feel sorry for Kanjo -- this is probably one of the toughest votes of his career!

Posted by: chrojo01 | March 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What percentage of tea party folks actually have read Marx? Or the Federalist Papers? Or the Constitution?

Posted by: ckimballrun | March 21, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Kill This Bill That Will Cause Terrible Health Care Hardship for the Masses

The underling 2700 pages, the guts of this terrible consumer and government rip off, will create financial and health care hardships for hundred of millions of Americans and their businesses for as long as it is the law of the land.

It is beyond belief to me that this fraud could be treated as serious reform by so many people, have crimes been committed to allow this to happen?

The only practical reform solution must add a Public Option to eliminate insurance to save lives and a $1trillion annually off of the $2.6 spent last year.

Only a Free Public Option, run by the government, which eliminates insurance companies, and uses sales taxes to pay for care, which would then be delivered free from government hospitals, can produce the cost savings needed for reform.

Public Option users would never have to pay another insurance premium; medical service co pay fee, prescription cost, dental, eye care, long term care or any other healthcare costs, all care they received from government hospitals, clinics and pharmacies would be free period.

Public Option care would deliver all government funded care; Medicare, Medicaid everything, replace all state and local systems, all employers could turn employee care over to the Public Option and eliminate all their costs and involvements, and sales taxes would provide the low cost funding source to eliminate insurance from within the Public Option.

The President, Democrats, Republicans and the healthcare industry have blocked this solution from the debate but this is the only practical reform to save lives and money.

Were crimes committed keeping the Public Option out of the reform dedate?

When we are finally able to investigate how our political process sunk this low, that our representatives would assault our families’ health and finances as they have, we must vow to hunt down every perpetrator until each is brought to justice.

These are dastardly crimes against humanity and everyone found guilty should be forever unforgiven and forced to pay harsh consequences for their treachery.

Posted by: BillWatson1 | March 21, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Bless the Democrats. If the Republicans were running the show this health care reform would be the best thing since sliced bread. The Republicans have once again showed their historic traits when faced with something they cannot take credit for. Manipulation of an issue(s) as well as fear and downright meanness is their agenda. Look at the Conservative websites. A definitive pattern is displayed.

Posted by: rail_labor | March 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I have absolutely no intention of purchasing this "mandatory health care."

When I become sick, I will simply pay the penalty and get my "free" healthcare from the rest of you saps who will pay the bills while I keep the money in the bank that I would otherwise be spending on premiums.

Thanks, suckers.

Posted by: NoWayNotNow | March 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Having worked as a civil servant for a couple years and leaving to private industry because I could not stand the undermotivated baeuracracy, I can see what is coming. In the end, Obama will stand or fall on results. My money is on government control of healthcare failing. I've seen that "you want what?" look on goverment workers face too often to believe otherwise. And there will be exactly one side of Congress to thank. In the greatest traditions of the enormous efficiencies of the IRS, Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, and the bankrupt US Postal Office, I wish you well. I'm sure healthcare will be different. Obama said it will and that's proof. Good luck in the Fall and President Obama, good luck in two years. If it gets screwed up, there will be no-where to hide. No-where. If it is a huge success, I will be the first to say I was wrong. But I doubt it

Posted by: donchew1 | March 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

There will be a few sore arms after all the arm twisting, but the democrats will have their votes to save face for the president. That's the way it goes....win the battle and lose the war !
The electorate has the final say in November.
Anyone taking any bets on the outcome?

Posted by: SeniorVet | March 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

In the final analysis, it's the American people who have the votes.
And if our elected representatives ignore our will today, then they will not have the votes come Novenber.

Posted by: mtpeaks | March 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Socialism and Bankruptcy and the final mariginalization for America and its christians.

Posted by: dboc_991 | March 21, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

nemosnemesis, I will say it as bluntly as possible.

Every single word of your first two paragraphs is a flat-out lie. And your third paragraph is treason.

Posted by: a_lafollette | March 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Of course the Dems will have the votes. You have Dem leadership willing to pay literally any price for votes, and House and Senate members unscrupulous enough to ask for hundreds of millions of dollars in tribute to secure their votes.

The mandates and the tax increases in this legislation will kill the private health care industry within 10 years. Why do you think Great Britain has to own and operate all the health care facilities in their country?

The gov't will mandate that every American must have health care or pay $700 per person to the gov't, and every employer must offer coverage or pay $2,000 to the gov't.

Congratulations, the gov't just legislated the low cost alternative to your employer sponsored health care to $2,000 per family. Do you think the service is going to get better or worse?
Still think the taxes on this will only fall on people earning over $250K? Only a fool would believe that to be the case.

Stand-by for health care run like the post office.

Posted by: randkdavis | March 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Just read the first 8 comments.
Except of one (peterg73[ without agreeing myself or not]) it seems only chaots are commenting.
So I go to sleep now.
God Bless America !

Posted by: mixedbreed | March 21, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Just a note,
To all the &^(&^%$#@ morons supproting this crap... A personal expreience of what this is all about... Since the present adminiatration I can not even go to a local emergency care faciliy in a desperate attempt to save the life of a loved one... This presenet administration has made it a crime for a physician to treat a patient who is on Medicare on a pay for service basis... A doctor I have used for many years had to deny service to someone I care for immensly because she happens to be eligible for Medicare and is inrolled in such... If he treated her he would be committing a crime and be subject to having his license to practice revoked...

What the #$^% is going on here... I didn't care if it would cost $100, $1000, $10000, or $100000, It was so important to me that it did not matter... But he could not afford to lose his license...

Seems that we have the military running around the world protecting us against people that have no capacity to harm us when we would be much safer to have them storm Washington and eliminate those who have demonstrated a grave threat to our existance.

Posted by: nemosnemesis | March 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Just a note,
To all the &^(&^%$#@ morons supproting this crap... A personal expreience of what this is all about... Since the present adminiatration I can not even go to a local emergency care faciliy in a desperate attempt to save the life of a loved one... This presenet administration has made it a crime for a physician to treat a patient who is on Medicare on a pay for service basis... A doctor I have used for many years had to deny service to someone I care for immensly because she happens to be eligible for Medicare and is inrolled in such... If he treated her he would be committing a crime and be subject to having his license to practice revoked...

What the #$^% is going on here... I didn't care if it would cost $100, $1000, $10000, or $100000, It was so important to me that it did not matter... But he could not afford to lose his license...

Seems that we have the military running around the world protecting us against people that have no capacity to harm us when we would be much safer to have them storm Washington and eliminate those who have demonstrated a grave threat to our existance.

Posted by: nemosnemesis | March 21, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh about teabaggers saying someone else gets their material from someone else. Everyone of their kind I have met gets their talking points from Fox News. If they thought for themselves, they wouldn't be against the bill.

Posted by: MrCee | March 21, 2010 10:55 AM |
==========

So we have someone who gets their talking points from Obama approved sources like the WAPO and MSNBC complaining about someone else watching Fox. How typical of the leftie loons.

Posted by: NormReisig | March 21, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh about teabaggers saying someone else gets their material from someone else. Everyone of their kind I have met gets their talking points from Fox News. If they thought for themselves, they wouldn't be against the bill.

Posted by: MrCee | March 21, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

They have the votes. But the votes will be recorded. And they will face re-election in November and again in '12.

The headline for Michael Goodwin's column in the NY Post says it all: "Obama Has Started the Mother of All Culture Wars."

Posted by: theduke89 | March 21, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty disturbing that a piece of legislation that will impact everybody's life in a major way is being passed with the slimest of margins and under great controversy.

Posted by: peterg73 | March 21, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

They already barely had enough without the Stupak 8, with this mornings pres. proclamation some of those will move to yes meaning they have the votes. The Senate just needs the parliamentarian to not accept the GOP challenge on Social Security funds being shifted and this passes the Senate with 50 votes. Boehner says the best healthcare system in the world, the U.N. says 17th. What we do have is the most expensive, doctors, providers, pharma, insurers all make more here than anywhere else in the world. The bills are far from perfect, the CBO score does not include the separate bill to up their payments, but overall is an improvement on status quo which Americans reject en masse. I believe more fixes will have to come, but I don't know if congress has the stomach for the tax increases needed to make medicare solvent to take care of boomers for 30 years. Please congress tax this middle income earner more and stop giving the bill to my 3 children.

Posted by: jameschirico | March 21, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Below is how Oblama's #3 man in the House is explaining the healthcare savings. Sounds right out of an ACORN video. I think Clyburn needs a teleprompter.

"Chuck Todd: Can you explain how you get a trillion dollars in deficit reduction? I mean, the CBO didn't make it very clear. Do you feel like you understand how it is this bill somehow reduces the deficit by a trillion dollars in those out years?
Clyburn: I think I do. What we are squeezing out of this system--remember, Medicare is a big part of this. We're extending the life of Medicare by nine years, and if you're taking the waste, fraud and abuse out of this, the savings that you get there will come as things grow. Savings will grow. You look at the community health centers. Savings will grow more in out years than in the first few years. So I believe--well, that's my assessment, and that's the way I'm explaining it to members. I hope I'm right.
Savannah Guthrie: But Congressman, you know, speaking of actually the first 10 years, I think when ordinary Americans look at this and they hear this is a bill that will cost $940 billion but will reduce the deficit $138 billion, they don't understand how those two things go together. Can you just explain how you have to spend almost a trillion dollars to save $138 billion?
Clyburn: Well, because--sure. If you look at, as I said, the kind of savings that you build into the system, what it will save the federal government when you get people into these private insurance plans--the cost-shifting, all of that, out of the system. So if you got 32 million people coming onto insurance plans, that's 32 million people coming out of emergency rooms; that's 32 billion [sic] people that you don't have to pay for in all the cost-shifting that takes place in the system. When my wife had bypass surgery, I looked on her bill. We paid $15 for one aspirin. Then that takes all of that out of the system, and that's how you get that kind of savings, when you multiply that by the number of people that are getting primary care out of emergency rooms, you won't be doing that. That's the kind of stuff."

Posted by: mgrantham2 | March 21, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

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