Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Health Care Reform Update

Lots of websites are trying to track which Rep is going to vote which way on the bill this coming Sunday (at least, that's when a vote is expected). I've been trying to follow it too, and it's giving me a headache. So let me instead post this:

Intrade is giving the bill an 80% chance of passing. Nate Silver has it over 90%. Now this is far from a sure thing and you should probably call your Rep just to be sure. But it's looking rosier than it was, say, last week.


Raised By Republicans said...

The House passed the Senate version of the bill last night. It was close but not as close as the vote count might have looked. Pelosi was confident enough to let a few of the more nervous Democrats vote against the bill on the core vote. The counts on the more arcane (but nevertheless critical) procedural votes showed the Democrats winning by much more comfortable margins.

Now it's back to the Senate.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Democrats finally got their shit together and realized that to have had 15 months of debate, but no accomplishment at all, would have been a total disaster. Now they can sell the plan, shore up the base support and restore some of the lost independent support. And the economic recovery will begin to turn the tide also.

The other lesson also is that the President must lead. Only when Obama made his proposal, got the summit together, then put the full weight of his office on each house member was it possible to move forward. It was crucial to have the President delaying his trip, to have a (naked?) Rahm Emanuel saying to the wavering Dems, "do you really want to be the one responsible for embarrassing the President like this?" I suspect we'll see Obama leading legislation more in the coming three years. He's learned his lesson that the USA is not a parliamentary system.

Raised By Republicans said...


With respect you are overstating the President's role here. He did not "make his proposal." Rather he endorsed the Senate version and endorsed a series of "fixes" (to be made by the Senate soon) already proposed in various House versions. He did not make his own proposal.

You are 100% correct that the US is not a parliamentary system. If Obama had been the Prime Minister, he would have done exactly what you say, that is make a proposal to a captive legislature and whip the votes.

All that said, Obama's clear and unambiguous support for the bill in its current form played a big role in getting intransigent liberals in the House to come around and vote for what they thought was a watered down bill. It is with the liberal wing that Obama probably has the most leverage.

In the grand scheme of things, I think Obama has to share A LOT of the credit with Speaker Pelosi. And of course the content of the bill was determined almost entirely by compromises made in the Senate.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Obama said "this is my proposal." Then he put it up on That was a crucial step in moving forward. He had to spend political capital - couldn't just ask the Dems in Congress to do it all. You are correct that he didn't craft the proposal, but no matter, the point was that he had to claim one.