Ending this health care nightmare comes down to one thing, and one thing only: expend all remaining to defeat the Senate bill in the House.
The Speaker cannot pass the Senate bill now. She does not have the votes. She has never had the votes — ever, to pass the Senate bill. (The AP list of 9 Dems who voted No who may vote yes is a fantasyland list — as in, if you think they will switch to Yes, you are living in Fantasyland. If a member who did vote No, now, when the politics are so clearly against it, switches to a yes, they might as well just resign. Which some might. But, really, it is good-bye for No votes that switch to Yes.)
While No votes switching to Yes is not credible, here is something that is credible. Yes votes that switch to No.
There is one New York Dem Yes vote who announced today, is now a no:
“U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, said Tuesday he would vote against the Senate version of the health care bill that could soon go before the House of Representatives for approval.
“Arcuri, who voted in early November in favor of the House version of the health care bill, said he is against the Senate bill for three main reasons:
“He doesn’t want to see the bill passed as a “mega bill,” and he believes more success would be had by breaking the bill apart and passing aspects of it incrementally, he said.
“Arcuri also said he isn’t comfortable with the possible Democratic strategy of passing the bill through reconciliation.”
Now, in order to attempt reconciliation in the Senate, the Speaker must pass the Senate bill first, without a single change to the bill, on the House floor. (The House Leadership is attempting to pass the changes to the Senate bill in reconciliation first, then vote on the Senate bill, but you cannot reconcile a bill not yet passed.)
Once more, the Speaker is making her Members walk the plank. This time the plank consists of the Senate bill that funds abortion, taxes health insurance premiums and cuts Medicare.
So defeating the Senate bill in the House:
1) Ends ObamaCare;
2) Stops reconciliation in the Senate;
3) Saves the country from months of health care blah, blah blah blah, blah blah; and
4) reboots the entire legislative process to Start Over, in Committee.
The Dem No votes from the fall of 2009 will hold, and Stupak’s pro-life Dems will vote against the bill. Therefore, it cannot pass.
Until the vote, however, House Dems are going to be subject to daily ObamaCare press stories, arm-twisting and generally annoying their voters with more politically toxic ObamaCare.
The Dem No votes and the pro-life votes must be told to vote against the Senate bill, from now until the House votes. Constant pressure will lock in the current No vote count.