Monday, August 17, 2009

The Public Option – By the Numbers

Yesterday I wrote a piece about how the public option may be a dead issue because we couldn’t get enough votes in congress to pass a health care reform bill that includes the public option.

I need to corrected that, because I painted congress with too broad of a brush.


Because of Senate rules a super majority of 60 votes is needed to pass a health care bill. And while we now have 60 Democratic senators we have those red state Democratic senators who are balking. So it’s the Senate, really, that is giving us all of the problems.

In the House of Representatives we have the opposite problem.

In the House all they need is 218 votes to pass anything. And there are 256 Democratic congressmen currently seated there, far more than are needed to pass health care. But here is the kicker: today I learned that 64 of these Democrats have signed a pledge to vote against any health care reform bill that does not contain a public option.

So by the numbers, if the bill ever comes up for a vote in the House,, and it does NOT have a public option within its pages, votes to pass will number 193. So as it currently stands if the Senate passes its version without a public option, it will fail in the House.

Conversely, if the House passes its version and it contains provisions for a public option, it will most certainly fail in the Senate.

Leaving us all empty-handed to the glee of the Republican Party which just wants this whole thing to go away and let their health insurance company cronies continue to rake in inflated premiums, continue to refuse to cover pre-existing conditions, continue to simple release its customers when they become too expensive, continue NOT to have another 36 to 40 million customers.

So the whole thing has become a blinking contest between the House and Senate.

A blinking contest whose winners and losers will not be decided by who blinks first. No way. The winners and losers will be decided at the mid-term elections next year.


Anonymous said...

It's a hell of a lot easier to campaign than it is to govern.

And it's even harder to govern if your main concern is the next campaign.

Anonymous said...

and thanks to the stupidity in your party and lack of compromise we will probably see a swing back and loss of some of those seats to gopers.....and the game continues unabated, mindlessly onward and downward. Looks like we trade one set of bullies for another almost every election cycle and one set of special interest for another. Isn't corpocracy great?