House Whip Count At 210, Prelimary Target Chart Available

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Oct 21, 2009 at 13:32


At Open Left, we have been reporting that the Congressional Progressive Caucus has found at least 206 votes for health care reform with a public option tied to Medicare rates +5%.  With 218 needed for passage, and up to 27 members still persuadable, this is surely one of the reasons why Speaker Pelosi has decided to try and push health care reform with a robust public option to the floor of the House.

However, the 206 number is at least a week old.  Now, Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva is claiming it has risen to 210:

"We anticipate that we're at 210," he said. "We feel that the momentum is all on the robust Medicare plus five public option."

Grijalva said that "25-plus" Democrats have said they will vote no. "Some of those no's are no regardless. It has nothing to do with the public option," he said, putting the number of those firm no-votes at 18 or 19.

With this information, here are the updated whip numbers:

House Medicare +5% public option whip count
Yes: 210 (includes the leadership and "lean yes" members)
Incoming yes votes: 1 (maybe two)
Undecided: 19 (at most)
No: 26 (at least, could be higher. Includes "lean no" votes)

Many readers have asked who the remaining undecideds are, so they have help push them into the "yes" camp.  To assist in that effort, I have managed to acquire a target list for the remaining members.  However, the chart is two weeks old, and does not differentiate between members who are "lean yes," "undecided," and "lean no." So, it is a step in the right direction, but still not the level of detail we need.

Again, the list of "lean yes," "undecided" and "lean no" Representatives can be found here. If you wish to call one of these members, urging them to support a health care with the Medicare +5% public option, contact the Congressional switchboard at 1-866-220-0044, and ask for the member of Congress who wish to speak with.

In the meantime, I will try to acquire a more recent and narrowly targeted list.

Update: Target chart cleaned up. The leadership is currently whipping undecided members to try and get the whip count up to 218 before a full Democratic House caucus meeting tonight. Placing a call to a local member of Congress on the whip count target list could help this effort.

Update 2: Partial CBO score is now in. It places the ten-year cost of House health care bill with robust public option at $871 billion. The bill will reduce the deficit, and increase health insurance coverage to 96% of American non-elderly residents (compared to only 94% for Baucus bill).

To put it a different way, for $871 billion, the House bill provides new health insurance coverage to 13% of America, while the Senate Finance Committee provides coverage to an additional 11% of American residents at a cost of $829 billion.  So, the House bill costs $67 billion per percentage of Americans provided with new health insurance, while the Senate Finance committee bill costs $75.4 billion per percentage of Americans provided with new health insurance. Unless your goals are not actually to provide more people with health insurance, or to save money, the House bill is the better bet.

Chris Bowers :: House Whip Count At 210, Prelimary Target Chart Available

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Is that List Really Correct? (0.00 / 0)
I can't believe George Miller and Shea-Porter don't support a Medicare +5 bill.  Really?  Also, I thought a few others Like Ana Eshoo and Mary Joe Kilroy were more progressive than that?  

As I said (0.00 / 0)
The list includes "lean yes" members, too. Also, it is 16 days old. I'm pretty sure the two members you list fall into the "lean yes" category.

[ Parent ]
What is the provenance of the list? (0.00 / 0)
Are they based on public or private responses?

[ Parent ]
I'm still surprised (0.00 / 0)
that they are only lean yes. I can't believe Miller wouldn't be a vocal supporter.

[ Parent ]
In the same vein (0.00 / 0)
Marcy Kaptur is one of the most left members.  If she and George Miller (also a Progressive Caucus member) are really undecided, I sure as heck hope it's from the left!  Anyone who can call and get a position from these or anyone else on the list and then post it would be helpful.

[ Parent ]
Kaptur (0.00 / 0)
Its possible that Kaptur would vote against the bill because she didn't think it was strong enough.

[ Parent ]
There isn't anything stronger than this under consideration (0.00 / 0)
the only thing stronger is Medicare for All. (There are stronger forms of PO but AFAIK they haven't been discussed.)

[ Parent ]
i want to see names (0.00 / 0)
we should put concentrated pressure on the 10 "undecideds" who might get us to 218. emails, phone calls, maybe even money.

Mergers and Compromises (0.00 / 0)
It certainly looks pretty good right now.  The most likely outcome seems to be the House puts in Medicare+5% and the Senate, based on Nelson's comments, puts in "level playing field" with opt-out.

That would lead the obvious compromise when the bills are merged to be either "level playing field" in all 50 states or Medicare+5% with opt-out.


called jim himes (0.00 / 0)
his office seemed surprised that he would be on this list. i don't expect anyone to take my word for it, so i told them to email chris bowers if they were a definite yes.

letter from himes staffer (0.00 / 0)
Thanks for forwarding this. I passed it along to our communications director who's been in touch with some bloggers. Like I said before, the Congressman supports a public option but I'm not sure about this specific provision.

[ Parent ]
North Carolina (0.00 / 0)
Price is one of our states most liberal members.
Etheridge voted for 3200 in committee.  I can't imagine anyone who voted for that is going to vote against a smaller bill that still includes a public option.
McIntyre is opposed to everything

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