For each prior "yes" vote on ObamaCare that the Democrats lose -- and The Hill currently has them losing seven -- they will have to convert a prior "no" if they are to pass their proposed health-care overhaul through the House. All wishful comments by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs aside, the Democrats face an uphill battle in trying to convince more than a few of the 37 members of their caucus who had the good sense to vote against ObamaCare last time, that now is the time to board the sinking ship.
A letter that Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) is sending out to his constituents highlights the challenges that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and company face. Nye, who's on the list that Andy Wickersham and I have provided of the 40 Democrats we think will most likely determine ObamaCare's fate, voted against the proposed legislation last time. Here's what he has to say about his upcoming vote:
[I]f the bill that is put forth does not contain significant changes and does not actually reduce health care costs for Americans and small businesses, it will not have my support.
I believe it is absolutely imperative that any health care reform bill reduces costs for families and small businesses, allows Americans to keep their existing plan and choose their doctor, is bipartisan, is deficit neutral, does not force Americans to use a certain type of health insurance, maintains Medicare benefits for seniors, and lowers the overall costs of health care. H.R. 3962 does not meet these criteria, which is why I do not support it.
The Senate version of ObamaCare similarly fails to meet these criteria. In fact, Nye's list sounds like a nearly perfect description of ObamaCare's opposite. Nye continues:
First and foremost I believe we must reduce the cost of health care both for the individual and small businesses -- and this bill does not accomplish that goal. In fact, the Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Doug Elmendorf, recently stated that this bill will not effectively bring down the growing cost of health care -- and that it is unsustainable over the long term....
Additionally, we must fix our current system before we add more people into it, which will only exacerbate any current problems....