An epic overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system comes down to a single vote.
POLITICO: Two Saturdays ago, Pelosi passed health reform on a squeaker of a House vote. Today, Reid can’t spare a single Democrat as the Senate decides whether to start debate. If not, President Barack Obama’s reform hopes suffer immeasurable harm.
That said, things were looking good at daybreak, as Reid can be reasonably confident of 59 votes, with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) a yes vote and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) leaning yes. The holdout: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who has been a fan of reform generally but faces a tough 2010 re-election fight.
So it’s all down to Lincoln, but getting Landrieu (pictured) to comit to a “yes” is fascinating.
Basically, the Senate bought her vote for $100 million.
ABCNews: On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.”
The section spends two pages defining which “states” would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that “during the preceding 7 fiscal years” have been declared a “major disaster area.”
I am told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.
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