House Democrats got whipped on health care over the August recess, and party leaders now have to win back some of their own shaky members, reports Politico. The push starts at a caucus meeting in the Capitol basement next week as Nancy Pelosi and other top leaders will try to make the case that a vote for reform isn't political suicide. One key point: The public option can wait.
Instead, reform could tackle more palatable reforms first, such as requiring insurers to do away with restrictions on pre-existing conditions. Plans for a public option could be put on hold until 2013, after pilot programs are studied. “We’re going to ask, ‘Where are you now? Is there something we need to add to get (you) to vote for this?” says the head of the Dems’ Congressional Campaign Committee. Says one Democrat: “I’m a no on the bill. But I’d very much like to get to yes.”