With a self-imposed Christmas deadline at stake, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday he has apparently secured the 60 votes needed to pass a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system.
"It seems that way," Reid said when asked at a news conference if he had all the required votes.
Reid's declaration came after he engineered a last-minute compromise in the health care debate that won the support of the lone Democratic holdout. The Congressional Budget Office said Reid's revisions would reduce the federal deficit by $132 billion over 10 years.
First, it must be noted that the CBO scoring only looks good because this bill starts collecting taxes right away and doesn't begin benefits in earnest for five years. Second, Nelson wasn't merely appeased by the abortion language but by "significant" funding for poor people in Nelson's state of Nebraska. Mary Landrieu was bribed with a similar $300 million bribe to provide Medicare assistance in her home state of Louisiana. The money quote came from Kent Conrad who said this when asked how much the assistance would be to the state of Nebraska.
Oh, it'll be much more
He was of course referring to the comparison between the concession to Nelson and to Landrieu. The political theater continues.