I’m by nature a pessimist, but since Christmas is a hopeful time I’ll link to Ramesh Ponnuru arguing that the health care debate isn’t over yet. I find his analysis persuasive, though I do wonder how many Democratic votes Nancy Pelosi had in reserve. The Stupak amendment is the only thing that makes me suspect the answer is either none or not many. In the discussion of whether we should be mad at Republicans, the one thing that always bothered me is how the GOP could not swing one marginal Democratic vote with the legislation polling this badly.
Maybe, even with all the perks the majority party has to offer, the unpopularity will have more impact in a chamber where many Democrats have far stronger political incentives to vote no than either Olympia Snowe or Susain Collins did and where everyone is up for reelection next year. Dropping the public option and liberalizing the abortion funding may be the worst of all possible worlds in terms of the bill’s popularity. We’ll see.
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