Pelosi: Health Care Reform Without Public Option Will Not Pass The House

by: Chris Bowers

Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 13:06

It appears that progressives are holding a hard line on the public option in the House. Speaker Pelosi has now stated, on consecutive days, that there are not enough votes in the House to pass a health care reform bill without a public option:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Huffington Post Thursday that a health care overhaul that did not include a public option wouldn't make it through the House because it "wouldn't have the votes."(...)

Asked by HuffPost if she would allow a reform package without a public option out of the House, she responded: "It's not a question of allow. It wouldn't have the votes."

Good. This is exactly the sort of line progressives must draw.

Also, this almost certainly means that health care reform will be passed through the reconciliation process. There simply are not 60 votes in the Senate to pass a public option. Since there are not enough votes in the House to pass health care reform without a public option, going through reconciliation is the only conceivable path at this point.

Chris Bowers :: Pelosi: Health Care Reform Without Public Option Will Not Pass The House

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Pelosi has been very good lately. (4.00 / 11)
I am tired of seeing profgressive bills die in the senate because of corproate owned Dems.  

Reconciliation isn't ideal (4.00 / 5)
because anything passed using reconciliation expires at the end of Obama's five-year budget. But, that would get us through the next election and buy us time to put health care reform in place permanently. So it may be a necessary evil at this point.

Once it's in place, who's going to take it away? (4.00 / 2)
I think congressmen will be a lot more hardpressed to remove health care coverage (vote to not continue it...) than to simply continue denying millions of people that coverage as they've been doing.

John McCain <3 lobbyists

[ Parent ]
This could become a corollary of the famous Eisenhower quote (4.00 / 6)
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

-Dwight D Eisenhower

John McCain <3 lobbyists

[ Parent ]
Well... (4.00 / 3)
I guess a Republican CAN be right once in a while... I know... Eisenhower was a much different breed of Republican.

[ Parent ]
Yes he was. And he would be a democrat today. (0.00 / 0)
I havent the fainest idea what boogeymen fought with his conscience, or what prejudices he had that might preclude it, but he let the Roosevelt reforms and revolution stand untouched.

He let go, or couldn't stop, the militarization of American politics, but at least he warned America as best he could.

If Obama wanted a basis for reaching ex and soft republican voters (and NOW is the time for it) an examination and celebration of Eisenhower might be a very very progressive way to go. I think bipartisanship is a reaching out to republican voters, not their "leadership" and apparently so do half of all republican voters. Lets reach them with progressive policy they can support. Lets do it through honorable (and therefor historical) Republican leaders.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
that is entirely dependant on how bad the final bill is. (4.00 / 1)
People might be quite happy to get out from under the yoke of a corporate subsidi bill.  

[ Parent ]
three cheers for Pelosi (4.00 / 5)
without a strong public option we might as well not pass anything and work for single payer in the states.

Three cheers for Woolsey and Grijalva, too. (4.00 / 5)
The letter they sent in early April backs up Pelosi's position. It's nice to see some serious pressure applied by the Progressive Caucus.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

[ Parent ]
Pelosi might be the best one to start calling for Obama Democrats to be elected. (0.00 / 0)
People committed to change, while being able to point to problems they have been having.

I don't want to say anything to make anyone p[issed or to seem sarcastic, but who are we going to call for going against Gillibrand Sen (d) NY?

Right now I'd accept a strong progressive voice that can win it. A Kennedy? (ducks)


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Are you sure about this? (4.00 / 3)
There simply are not 60 votes in the Senate to pass a public option.

There are a few compromises out there that seemed designed to get sixty votes. Which is to say, when Pelosi says the plan needs to have a public option to pass in the House, does she mean it has to have a good public option.

Both, as necessary? (0.00 / 0)
When does the final decision need to be made?  Can we have a full vote and, if that fails, then use reconciliation?  Or does one have to count all the votes ahead of time and just pray no one switches sides?

Obviously, I know one can always go back and try a second time (and third and so on) as needed, but that is politically very clumsy.  Is there a seamless way to go for 60 votes without risking the 51 vote option?

[ Parent ]
I thought we only needed 51 (4.00 / 1)
I'm confused.

[ Parent ]
I think: 60 senate votes needed to invoke cloture and prevent a Gooper (0.00 / 0)
filibuster; 51 votes needed to pass the legislation in a full senate vote.


I recall something about any measure that calls for, results in or causes a tax increase needing 60 votes to pass. As I understand it, the public option (whatever final form it emerges in) doesn't necessarily meet those criteria.  

However (again):

I could easily be mistaken. You aren't the only one who finds this stuff confusing. I hope what I've told you is actually right.

[ Parent ]
How about a "Not One More Penny" petition? (4.00 / 3)
People who have contributed to Democrats over the past few election cycles could sign with name and address stating that they won't contribute to  candidates who don't support and fight like hell for a real public health care option.

Republicans are digging in on this, and any bipartisan compromise means no public option by definition.  

yes (4.00 / 1)
if they don't pass the minimum then why should we contribute?

[ Parent ]
This is my idea... (0.00 / 0)
There should be three or four bills on this...

Get the stuff passed on everything that we have 60 votes for (insurance exchanges and what not)....

Then when it comes time to vote on delivery... keep stalling until the deadline comes up, and have the public option alone be done via reconciliation...

That way, all that other reforms will have been passed as normal bills, but the public option would stand alone as reconciliation...

I don't know how you'd manage it politically... if the GOP knew what the plan was, they'd find away to thwart the other stuff, too...

But, that's a way to get our public option while limiting the damage that occurs with reconciliation...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

Makes sense (4.00 / 1)
They certainly have to pass some bill with 60 votes before they can even begin reconciliation.  It might as well have as much in there as possible.

Heck, even without pushing reconciliation beyond its normal use you could pass the full bill in the House and a version with triggers or no public option in the Senate and fix that up in reconciliation.

[ Parent ]
I can conceive of a lot of things that (4.00 / 1)
could happen between now and then.

I can conceive:
that the Senate passes--with 60 votes--a bill with a public plan so watered down as to be useless.

A summer in which Obama doesn't stay out ahead of his critics, supporting a public plan, and gets hammered on messaging, not just on health care but on the deficit, and no other Dem takes an effective leadership role on anything.

A September conference process where Pelosi and her caucus are pressured to an extraordinary degree to compromise and modify their language to accommodate the Senate's watered down plan. Pressured most significantly by Rahm and Obama. Rahm's current favorite maxim: "The only nonnegotiable principle here is success. Everything else is negotiable."

A September in which Obama is extremely eager to see the process wrapped up, a bill passed, and on his desk by Oct. 1, which is the current goal.

A September in which Obama vigorously courts, and compromises with, the moderate Republicans and conservative Dems. He is most likely to do anything to prevent the process from continuing into mid-October, when the reconciliation instruction deadline finally arrives--Oct. 15.

the range of things you can conceive of is rather limited, i see. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
nevermind, i see what you were responding to... sorry about that. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
Except he has been pushing the public option. (0.00 / 0)
And seeming reticent to intervene further.  


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Does this mean no real public option (0.00 / 0)
or does it mean they would allow a bill with a trigger?

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

let's talk cost (4.00 / 3)
I heard a newsguy (ABC?) this morning on TV saying 'President Obama wants to spend 1.5 Trillion Dollars to give Health Coverage to all Americans'

That didn't strike me as the best way to promote the costs

I think, we should promote the public option savings and point to the money that'll be shifted from medic*


Great news (0.00 / 0)
Hopefully they hold firm.

It's ironic (4.00 / 3)
To read a post about how to give Dems a little fear o' God, and then read posts about how we need "a public option."

"Public option" is the gateway drug to a weasel deal. The answer is called "single payer," and there's a house resolution (HR 676) that lays out a direct path to making it so.

How many times are we going to let the Dems play Lucy-and-the-football with us? I guess until the Repubs get back into power and we can project some other Dem as a Progressive Savior. Wet hair, lather, rinse, repeat.

Because the democratic party is a coalition. (0.00 / 0)
And it has history, including the history of letting soft right candidates tell us that they "are our only hope of winning a seat" from a Republican. And now we have a whole bunch of Republicans in our seats.

But when Pelosi draws a line in the sand and says, no public plan, no bill, we see some members of the coalition that actually have the juice and spine and smarts to see where the future lies.

Look it'd be awfully hard to sell what President LB Johnson did with the Civil Rights Act, if everyone knew just how hard it would be to elect a Democrat in the south for generations after. But thats what made sure we weren't abandoned by people of principle, thats what made sure that african americans knew they had a place at the table in THEIR party.

Single payer, like Eisenhower's speech described social security, is a permanent line in the sand for Americans. "You do that, and we stand with you for generations."


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
We have many Democrats today who would (and do) sell Civil Rights and everything else down the river in a heartbeat to get a seat at the trough table... to do nothing of any worth.

[ Parent ]
Yep. And I have some in my extended family. (4.00 / 2)
And there are some in every damn organization I have ever been in. Despair disappointment and distraction can do it every time. One little bite won't hurt. But the next one is easier and that one does hurt. And you never forgive the ones you hurt. So now its easy to just stomp all over them.

But there are some who aren't, and we have to stay focused. Cynicism is the ticket out of principles action.

Cynics think just like us, but they don't do anything except stand in our way.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
IMHO, caving into the bipartisan "public option" frame is being cynical (4.00 / 2)
It's refusing to believe that real -- and humane and fiscally responsible -- change is possible.

[ Parent ]
Good. (4.00 / 3)
I'm glad Nancy Pelosi is rediscovering her spine. So will she lend some to Harry Reid and some folks in the Obama White House?

I was infuriated to see "Democratic Strategist" Steve McMahon go on Hardball today and "advise" President Obama to abandon the public option so that a final bill can "get 80 votes". This was the same massive mistake made during the stimulus showdown, so I seriously hope Obama & Reid ignore his "advice" and the "advice" of all the other "bipartisanship" obsessed Beltway pundits. There's no way in hell 80% of Republicans will vote for ANY health care bill from any Democrat, and most of the rest will be scared away from even compromise by the pitchfork-carrying Limbaugh-Palin-Gingrich dittohead GOP base. So why water a bill down to nothingness to go for what may only be a tiny handful of  GOP Senators?

Instead, negotiate from a position of strength. Go to Collins & Snowe, go to Landrieu, go to other GOP or Dem centrists, and tell them this is their only chance to be a part of the solution instead of the problem.

Yes, Virginia, there are progressives in Nevada.

Because we are going to elect "single payer dems" next time. (4.00 / 1)


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
how many times are ppl gonna fall for this bs game? Pelosi will stop it-- and (0.00 / 0)
knows the Senate & Admin will change it to their liking.

we saw it on the stimulus, on TARP, on everything.

she's not gonna stop it or kill it -- and this is a game that's killing us -- esp on healthcare

oops-- Pelosi will NOT Stop it. (0.00 / 0)
sorry about that.

[ Parent ]
Stimulus, TARP, war funding, budget, health reform -- it'll be energy next (0.00 / 0)
it's all theater and kabuki.

Until the House actually stops and/or kills the bad stuff, it's all bs -- over and over and over and over

[ Parent ]

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