House Health Care Vote Looks Like a Squeaker

But slim margin could vanish if bill moves left or right: Silver
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2009 10:00 AM CDT
Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., second from left, speaks to the media, as Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., listen at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, July...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – A compromise health care bill will likely squeak through the House by about two dozen votes, Nate Silver writes on The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Friday night 31-28 vote is a good model, with its similar balance of Republicans, liberal and Blue Dog Democrats. The committee passed its bill by 52.5%, which measures out to a 228-206 vote in the House.

But a more sensitive Silver analysis—including lawmaker voting records and their support for the public option—predicts a tighter 222-212 tally. Which means the final House bill cannot get more liberal without concessions, like reducing the employer mandate. But, says Silver, liberals may revolt unless the public option is bolstered. "What seems clear is that this bill probably cannot get substantially more liberal without risking failure on a floor vote."