Today in Health Care Reform
Pelosi whips as Kucinich announces.
9:52 AM, Mar 17, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
The House Democratic leadership's flirtation with the Slaughter Rule, under which the House would "deem" the Senate bill passed while voting on the reconciliation package, has Republicans on the attack. Roll Call says Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn are "tied in knots" as they search for vote number 216.
CNN says health care reform's opponents are 11 votes short of killing the bill. The number of confirmed "No" votes, in other words, is at 205.
But Pelosi may get another confirmed "Yes" in a few minutes, when Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, takes the stage for a 10:00 a.m. press conference. Kucinich, a single-payer dude, voted No last November and has been heavily lobbied by the White House to flip.
On substance, AP -- AP! -- has a "Factcheck" disputing Obama's claim that his reform will result in substantial premium decreases. And Megan McArdle disputes the Democrats who say Medicare was as unpopular as Obamacare when it became law in 1965: "Medicare popularity did improve after it passed. On the other hand, it wasn't passed despite terrible polling, with a controversial process, by a political party that was tanking in popularity thanks to a grinding recession."
At this point, there are two health care reform "known unknowns." One is the CBO score, which we haven't seen. The other is the final reconciliation language. Once those become "known knowns," we'll be one step closer to the health care reform Götterdämerung.
Finally, last night Paul Ryan gave an illuminating interview to Greta Van Susteren that you can watch in its entirety here.