John Hawkins has an interesting post regarding a conversation he had with a Senate staffer on the chances of Obama-Pelosi-Reid-care passing this year (not likely) or in January (50/50):
John: But still, it’s looking grim right?
Senate Aide X: They are in much worse shape now than a week ago. If the bill dies this week, it will be because Dems just let it crumble through infighting and the Tea Party/American people standing up in August and demanding through weeks of recent phone calls and protests that it be stopped.
John: If it were to pass somehow, do you think it could die going through ping pong, back and forth between the House?
Senate Aide X: No! Pelosi will rubber stamp whatever the Senate passes.
John: So, you think all these demands from the Left about the public option and the Blue Dogs saying they have to have the Stupak Amendment in there are all for show?
Senate Aide X: No, the left-roots passion is real, but if you are Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, you know this is a one shot deal. This moment won’t happen again soon and it’s better to cut any deal you can to socialize health care as much as you can now. Take the win, go for more later.
Read John’s whole conversation with the staffer, for some more flavor.
I think the 50/50 assessment is correct. The Democrats want to pass something, anything, for a variety of reasons.
First, not passing something will be a monumental failure for Reid and Obama; Pelosi already has done her job, so she will not be as tainted.
Second, something still will amount to a further massive governmental intrusion into our lives, the economy and the health care system; the details can be fixed — from the Democratic perspective — later on by attaching amendments to legislation against which Republicans cannot vote, or through other legislative maneuvers.
Third, there will be enormous pressure from the White House to pass something prior to the President’s State of the Union Address.
50/50 is still very worrisome.
Assuming we get past Christmas, we need to bring some August-like pressure to bear in January.