Health Care

Can Pelosi Get It Done?

If she wants to keep health-care reform alive, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) must corral two groups of conservative Democrats reluctant to vote for the legislation. The bill, based on what President Obama presented Thursday at his health-care summit, is significantly different from the version the House passed in December. Pro-life and fiscally conservative Democrats are skeptical, especially as midterm elections draw near. About 40 House Democrats voted for the bill in part because it had the anti-abortion Stupak amendment, which was stripped from Obama’s version. Others have cost concerns. Of the 39 Democrats who voted against the bill late last year, 31 represent districts that voted for Sen. John McCain for president in 2008. “The concern among Democrats right now is that there are more yes votes reconsidering than no votes,” an analyst says. For Pelosi to push the bill through, several Democrats in trouble in the polls would have to put passing the health-care overhaul ahead of their own electoral survival.