Pumped-Up Dems Fall Into Line on Health Reform
Obama's speech changed tone on Hill, but GOP votes still elusive
By Jason Farago, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2009 7:05 AM CDT
President Barack Obama addresses nurses about health care reform, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009, in the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House campus in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – After a dispiriting summer for the Democrats, Barack Obama's address has energized the majority party, with progressives to Blue Dogs lining up behind the president. As Politico notes, the greatest change in tone came from Nancy Pelosi and other legislators who had insisted on a public option, many of whom are now agreeing with Obama that it is preferable but not necessary. But moderate Republicans were less impressed; Sen. George Voinovich, seen as a possible "yes" vote, said he was underwhelmed.

Progressives like Rep. Lynn Woolsey, who had once threatened to vote against any bill without a public option, enthusiastically backed Obama's speech, as did moderates whose votes had also been in doubt. Still, the White House and Democratic leadership have a way to go if they want to get 60 votes in the Senate. "I don’t think he solved a thing in terms of votes," said Rep. Charlie Rangel. "But I think he did a lot in changing the atmosphere."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
FreeThemAll
Sep 12, 2009 3:10 AM CDT
Your situation is illustrative of why we need to fix the system of health care we have in this country. My situation is different. I have pretty good insurance, but I have to pay the first $500.00 out of pocket. I've never been the type to run to run to the doctor with every little problem, but I might as well do so to get the $500 out of the way. The thing is, I'm hard pressed to come up that, or with the 20% after that.
Snarfeh
Sep 12, 2009 2:50 AM CDT
Today, I went over to my mom's to paint her front porch. One side is higher than the other and I had to use the ladder. The ground was a tad soft from the last rain and every time I moved my ladder to another place, I really had to work it to get it stable. And every time I climbed it, I had to force myself not to imagine what would happen if I fell and was seriously injured becaise I don't have insurance since being laid off this past May. I keep telling myself I have to be careful and not take unnecessary chances while working in the yard, etc., but then I think, damn it, I shouldn't have to stop living because I have to worry about being injured. I've done some price quotes to see if I can get even minimal coverage, but I simply cannot afford it right now while still looking for work. Every time I go job hunting, the thought crosses my mind, what if I'm in a wreck....if I am, I will have to either be completely fine afterward or die in it because I cannot afford anything in between. I have my savings, but I really don't want to have to go bust on my savings because of injury. I fucking hate the insurance industry. I've said it before and I will say it again..anyone working in insurance of any type is soulless.
JonmarkP
Sep 11, 2009 12:23 PM CDT
They caved in on public option, the only thing worth fighting for. Screw 'em.