AT Readers: Call Your Blue Dog
With all House Republicans voting no, Speaker Pelosi can lose no more than 37 Democrats to get to the 216 she needs (current lineup: 253 Democrats, 178 Republicans). 39 Democrats voted no on the House bill that passed 220-215 in November, but since that time, one no voting Democrat has tickled and retired (Congressman Massa), and one switched to the GOP in Alabama (Parker Griffith).
Jay Cost of realclearpolitics.com has been keeping track of the no votes who could vote yes this time (37), and the yes votes who may vote no this time (27). Cost thinks only 10 of the 37 no votes are really in play.
Politico is reporting that 34 Democrats are now announced or leaning to no votes. I suspect that only Nancy Pelosi knows the the real number who might shift from each camp.
American Thinker readers can get involved in the action, by calling the offices of the 64 Democrats whose votes may be in play. Phone calls are far more important than emails. Here is a list of the phone numbers of all Congressmen. If the final vote is very close (e.g 216-215, or 217-214), I would wager the bill passes. This means the no side needs a few votes to spare, or the pressure on the last holdout or two will simply be to great to resist.
Arguments are important; the new entitlement will cost 200 billion a year by 2019, and grow at 8% a year thereafter. With deficits running at $1.5 trillion a year, and federal spending already running at record levels since World War 2 at over 25% of GDP, this spending will mean new debt, and higher deficits (the costs will undoubtedly be greater than the estimates). Nothing in this bill will control spending. Only by excluding the Medicare doctors' payment fix, treating the collections and payments for the new long term care insurance plan in the bill on an annual basis, rather than as an actuary would, and by collecting new taxes and fees for ten years, and paying for new programs over six years (beginning in 2014), has the ten year CBO estimate come in at the level it has. In essence, the CBO has ben asked to count A , but not B.