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The HCR Whip Count to Watch

Why all eyes are on the lefty Firedoglake.

5:38 PM, Mar 17, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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I have no idea what Firedoglake means, but I do know it's an influential left-wing website that hosts one of the better health care reform whip counts. As Byron York reports:

Republicans feel it is accurate, particularly in this sense: They believe that no Democratic lawmaker who is definitely planning to vote yes on the bill would want the activists on the left, in this case exemplified by Firedoglake, to believe he or she is still undecided. Why take a beating for nothing?

The current count at FDL is 205 Yes, 209 No, including leaners. That jibes with other whip counts showing health care reform's future up for grabs.

A major factor in the upcoming vote is the CBO score of the reconciliation bill. The number isn't out yet, not because math is hard but because Democrats are manipulating the numbers to get a good result. Yet word is spreading that health care reform's price-tag is still tremendously expensive. As the saying goes: Know hope.

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