We’ll certainly know in the morning, but Nancy Pelosi is fast running out of options without members of the ubiquitous Stupak bloc.
Harry Teague, one of the few remaining undecided votes, will vote No again as he did in November, blaming cost controls.
“I had hoped to have a chance to vote on a bill that provided affordable health care options to all American families, but after reviewing the final health care reform proposal, I do not believe that the bill does enough to contain costs and it definitely does not do enough to rein in the out of control insurance companies that are driving up healthcare costs in this country,” Teague said in a statement.
“In fact, I believe we are doing more for the insurance companies than we are for the people who need this coverage, and that is why, despite the positive steps it takes, I must vote against this bill,” Teague said.
If you look at the numbers below, you understand why this is consequential. Teague puts the definite No votes at 210, with five leaners, four of them part of the Stupak bloc. There are only 8 undecideds left, and 208 Yes votes with leaners. So Pelosi would have to get all 8, including Stupak bloc member Kathy Dahlkemper, and hold Marcy Kaptur (who probably shouldn’t be a lean Yes). Failing that, she could try to flip Glenn Nye, or go to one of her committee chairs voting No (Ike Skelton, Collin Peterson) and ask them to walk the plank.
But that’s a very tough road. And so Pelosi is talking to Bart Stupak. Because there doesn’t look to be another option for passage. That may result in an annual standalone vote on choice in the exchange. It may result in some “tie-bar” legislation (although that is procedurally unlikely). But it’s almost certainly going to result in something.