Speaker Nancy Pelosi counted votes Thursday night and determined she could not pass a “robust public option” — the most aggressive of the three forms of a public option House Democrats have been considering as part of a national overhaul of health care.
Pelosi's decision—coupled with a significant turn of events yesterday during a private White House meeting—points to an increasingly likely compromise for a “trigger” option for a government plan.
Administration officials have been telling POLITICO for weeks now that this the most likely compromise because it can probably satisfy liberals—albeit only reluctantly and after many vent frustration and some even threaten to walk away
from the bill.
The pattern here remains the same. The Democrats know what they DON'T have the votes for. No matter what the issue is, they don't have the votes for it. You'll notice that Pelosi didn't say she has the votes for a trigger. That's just what the speaker is looking at now. Remember, the Speaker said that she'd lose 100 votes in the House without the public option.
A trigger is no less dicey to pass. Those that want a public option will want a trigger that will all but go into effect right away. Moderates will want one with plenty of leeway and to account for inflation. There's really no difference here. The reality is that the Speaker doesn't have the votes to pass a public option but she also doesn't have the votes to pass without one.
That's the reality of health care reform. The Democrats have tied themselves up in knots so much that they don't have the votes to do anything. They don't have the votes to pass an onerous tax on so called "Cadillac" insurance plans. They don't have the votes to pass the doctor fix. Of course, without the doctor fix, they can't pass health care reform that is deficit neutral. They don't have the votes or will to pass health care reform that has a deficit. Yes, it appears the Democrats literally don't have the votes to pass any controversial part of health care reform no matter what side of the issue they land on. How's that for political skill?