Thursday, March 18, 2010

If you can't beat 'em, bluff

After several high-profile switches from no to yes on the Senate version of the health care bill, including Dennis Kucinich and former Stupak coalition members Dale Kidlee and James Oberstar, Democrats have announced that they are planning a health care vote for this Sunday. There's just one problem: they still don't have the 216 votes needed to pass the bill. According to the pro-abortion blog FireDogLake, they only have 190. FDL points out that "projecting an aura of confidence has been a key to their pressure strategy," and I definitely agree.

Interestingly, some of the bill's opponents are also acting as if its passage is inevitable. Conservatives in Virignia are already preparing to challenge the constitutionality of the law, although not on pro-life grounds. They're more concerned with the provision that requires people to purchase health insurance. And the Associated Press wonders whether the law would survive after the next round of elections:
The legislation would be vulnerable to attack after it passes, since the biggest changes would be phased in slowly. The major expansion of coverage would not come until 2014, when new health insurance marketplaces open for business.

This means that if we can get a solid pro-life majority before 2014, we may be able to pass the Stupak Amendment as a stand-alone bill and prevent taxpayer funding of abortion before the exchange subsidy program opens.

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