Rich Lowry (editor of the National Review) and Robert Costa (William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute) provide us with Five Reasons ObamaCare Might Not Pass. Here they are, summarized (read the article for the full analysis):
- Public Revulsion. The bill was already under water in every major public-opinion poll, and opposed by a margin of almost 2 to 1 in the latest CNN poll. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put its support at freezing, 32 percent. A few ticks downward and the bill will be in the 20s. … Democrats have set out to disprove Lincoln’s adage that without public sentiment nothing can succeed. They may yet succeed, but sailing into the teeth of such a howling headwind of public opinion won’t be easy.
- The Stupak Dozen. Nelson cut a deal so far short of the Stupak language in the House that the National Right to Life Committee is going to score the cloture vote on the bill as a vote to subsidize abortion on demand. That won’t matter to anyone in the Senate, but it could have a major effect in the House. After her initial 220–215 victory, Pelosi can afford to lose only two net votes. Bart Stupak has declared the Nelson language unacceptable and vows to oppose the final bill if it doesn’t include the restrictions contained in his amendment. … Stupak was part of a bloc of Democrats who wrote a letter to Pelosi saying they’d stand against “any health-care-reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or -subsidized health-insurance plan.” Eleven of those signatories voted for the House bill. Then there’s Joseph Cao, the Louisiana Republican who voted for the bill at the last moment during the first House vote but has said he would vote against the bill – even if doing so might cost him his seat … if it funds abortion.
- Who Pays? …the differences in financing between the Senate and the House bills are vast. The Senate relies on a so-called Cadillac tax on pricey insurance plans, the House on a surtax on the wealthy. The Senate long ago declared the surtax anathema, and the House is just as dismissive of the Cadillac tax. The unions hate the Cadillac tax, since they enjoy such plans themselves, the fruit of collective bargaining. If the House gives in, it will create even more unrest on the Left. If the Senate gives in, it could upset the fragile deal for 60…
- Feeling Blue. “Blue Dog Democrat” is understandably becoming a term of derision, denoting a willingness to object only enough to be noticed before caving in to the Democratic leadership. Yet the Blue Dogs still have to be a worry for supporters of the bill. … As Michael Barone points out, nearly 70 percent of the Blue Dogs represent districts that voted for John McCain. A vote for this bill must look even more like a potentially career-ending decision now than it did the first time around…
- The Left. Progressives are pained, at what should be their very moment of triumph. The Senate dashed their dreams of the public option. Without it, many on the left are abandoning ship. … No fewer than 60 liberals in the House imprudently made a pledge to oppose a bill without a public option. Almost all of them can be expected to eat it. But what if one or two don’t? Public-option scold Rep. Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) is continuing to pressure Obama to move further left. … perhaps a few of Weiner’s colleagues are ideologically besotted enough to lash out at the president’s “betrayal” when he doesn’t “come in” the way they hope he will.
Their conclusion? “All of this means that Democrats shouldn’t be celebrating until they have the bill on Obama’s desk. … Early next year, the question may shift from whether Democrats can pass the bill, to whether Republican can make the sort of gains in 2010 and 2012 necessary to repeal it.”