As the health care reform fight enters its final days, most eyes are on about two dozen pro-life and vulnerable Democrats in the House, where the greatest number of votes remain in play. But could the fate of reform actually rest in the hands of a long-serving progressive?
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House Democrats are doing whatever they can to secure the 216 votes they'll likely need to pass the Senate bill, and it's shaping up to be a squeaker. Abortion foes are threatening to defect, as are some squeamish vulnerable Dems. Balancing them out, leadership hopes, are several members who voted "no" on the House health care bill in November, but are now back in the mix--these are, for the most part, retiring members, and freshmen from competitive districts.