Saturday, February 27, 2010

Standing in the Way of Health Reform: Democrats

People have wondered why Obama has sought bipartisan support for healthcare. Liberals lament about it all the time. They use "bipartisanship" like it's a bad word. Obama's sought bipartisanship because he has needed it to pass a bill. He wouldn't have had to seek republican support if the democrats were together on healthcare.
The future of President Obama’s health care overhaul now rests largely with two blocs of swing Democrats in the House of Representatives — abortion opponents and fiscal conservatives — whose indecision signals the difficulties Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces in securing the votes necessary to pass the bill.

With Republicans unified in their opposition, Democrats are drafting plans to try on their own to pass a bill based on one Mr. Obama unveiled before his bipartisan health forum last week. His measure hews closely to the one passed by the Senate in December, but differs markedly from the one passed by the House.

That leaves Ms. Pelosi in the tough spot of trying to keep wavering members of her caucus on board, while persuading some who voted no to switch their votes to yes — all at a time when Democrats are worried about their prospects for re-election. NYT