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Today in Health Care Reform

Obama speaks ... again.

2:41 PM, Mar 3, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Thirty-five. Including today's speech, that's the number of times Obama has delivered major remarks on health care reform, according to the Washington Post. What has happened between number one and number 35? Tea parties, town hall protests, and rising public opposition to the legislation before Congress. Doctors in lab coats won't change the numbers: The public does not want this bill and does not think it will improve health care in America.

But of course that doesn't matter. What matters is whether Nancy Pelosi has 216 votes to pass the Senate health care bill and make Obamacare a reality. Three top Democrats tell The Hill she does. The numbers tell a slightly different story, however. With Rep. Michael Arcuri, Democrat of New York, switching from Yes to No, ABC News says Pelosi starts off with 215 -- one less than required.

But this count is extremely optimistic. It doesn't include the pro-life Democrats who will oppose the bill because it contains liberal abortion language -- anywhere between ten and twelve votes, according to Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan. It doesn't include Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Democrat of North Dakota, whose Yes vote is also likely to become a No. That takes Pelosi to 202. Which means she'd have to switch fourteen of the 39 Democrats who voted No in November to Yes.

Possible? Yes. Probable? Doubtful.

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