House Dems Fear Senate, WH Steamroll on Health Care

Moderates don't want to spend risky votes on legless progressive bill
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 11:11 AM CDT
House Dems Fear Senate, WH Steamroll on Health Care
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.   (AP Photo)

House Democrats on both ends of the spectrum are feeling sorry for themselves as they struggle to shape a final health care reform bill. The bill is widely expected—based in no small part on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proclamations—to include a public option, a tax on wealthy Americans, and a strict employer mandate. But, Politico notes, since their bill is likely to be reshaped to resemble the Senate’s compromise bill, they're wondering what the point is of taking stands that could hurt them with voters.

Progressive Dems in the House are pushing to “pass the most robust health care bill we can pass.” But Blue Dogs are loathe to stick their necks out to support a bill that will likely reach the president’s desk radically changed. “Moderate Democrats can’t keep taking these blows,” one says. To top it off, if the bill differs too much from the Senate legislation, House members will have a diminished seat at the conference table, frustrating all comers. (More health care reform stories.)

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