Congressional progressives have had to swallow a number of hard health care concessions over the last several months. Just today, an agreement was reached between the Obama administration and Labor to largely preserve an excise tax on expensive health insurance policies, opposed by the overwhelming majority of House members, that could impact middle class Americans. But nonetheless one of the leading progressives in the House says both chambers are ready to pass reform.
"I heard that we're very close to a final decision, that we will be having a bill soon, and it's not going to have everything anybody wants in it, but it will be a bill that can pass the House and the Senate and it will be a start for health care reform in the United States of America," Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)--co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told me in an interview this evening. "It is moving ahead. [Obama is] very committed to having a health care bill that will be good for America."
"I think we're beyond any one caucus," Woolsey said, before correcting herself to point out that pro-choice Democrats could still withhold their support over the issue of abortion.
Nevertheless, that could be an indication that, despite all the heartache and all the compromises, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi might not lose many progressive votes when health care comes to a final vote.