Critical Condition

It Could Fall Apart

This is in Politico today: 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid eked out 60 voteson a procedural motion to start the health care debate Saturday night – but there’s no guarantee he can pass a bill on the merits.

And as he struggles, the reasons are clear: deep divides among Democrats on a public insurance plan, abortion, tax hikes and cost-cutting. Liberals want the plan to be generous enough. Moderates fear a budget-buster. And everyone is trying to avoid angering seniors.

Even in the blush of Saturday’s victory, Reid (D-Nev.) is far from having the votes to move his $848 billion package to final passage. At least four centrists have pledged to oppose it in its current form, largely over the public option. Reid is in a bind. Stay to the left, and moderates vote no. Move a tad to the right, and Reid faces insurrection from the left, as liberals in his own caucus and in the House vow not to compromise any further on their signature issue.

As one of the Senate most liberal members, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told POLITICO’s The Arena: “I have made it clear to the administration and Democratic leadership that my vote for the final bill is by no means guaranteed.”

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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