In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Swallow It Whole! How Democrats Could Pass Health Care Without Coakley's Vote


That may or may not be correct. Faced with a lost vote in the Senate, the pressure on the House to pass a bill at all costs would be enormous. But Democrats are clearly focused on succeeding without losing Coakley's vote. Probably a better use of their energy.

As I noted here, once the House passes a modified version of the Senate bill, the legislation has to return to the Senate for yet more votes, which the GOP will surely filibuster.

Frustrated House leaders are coming to terms with the fact that Reid's hands are tied: he can't afford to lose a single health-care vote within his caucus, and, thus, can't veer too far from the bill he passed last month. That means there are very few changes they can demand to the Senate reform package. But unless Coakley loses, they'll certainly be able to demand some.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at