Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.
They're the only two "undecideds
" on a cloture vote on the health care bill, or a vote affirming that the Senate will
vote on the bill, which will take place at 8pm tonight.
A cloture vote is as good as a vote "in favor" of the bill.
Certainly, adjustments will be made as the bill is re-worked in the House and Senate, but the basic framework of a government take-over of health care has been laid. Issues like abortion coverage, state's ability to opt-out of the public option, and which Members of Congress will get their pockets lined with pork are still up in the air. But fact that government is getting its hands really sticky with America's health is already laid out in full glory and is un-changeable. The basic bill itself ain't goin' nowhere.
How Lincoln and Landrieu are still undecided despite the cloture vote being taken at 8pm tonight is a study in political pandering. Yesterday, reports broke that Landrieu was getting $100 million in Medicare subsidies for her state in exchange for her vote. That's right — her state alone would receive $100 million more than the rest of us, just so she'll vote "yes." This is why earmarks need to be eliminated in their entirety.
Blanche Lincoln is staying mum. Some reports have her as an already-decided, "yes," but it's probably too early to tell; it's clear these waffley Senators are going to leave us in suspense until right before the vote is taken. If there was ever a time to call two Senators offices, now would be it. Landrieu can be reached at (202) 224-5824 and Lincoln (202) 224-4843.