17
Mar
10

Opponents of health reform gain support in House

House Democrats need 216 votes to pass the health care reform bill.

Five more House Democrats said Tuesday that they will vote against Senate health care legislation, which puts opponents of reform just 11 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.

An ongoing CNN analysis shows that opposition in the House to the Senate health care plan has reached 205 members.

A total of 27 House Democrats, including nine who supported the House plan in November, have indicated that they would join a unified Republican caucus in opposing the Senate plan, which passed in that chamber December 24 with the minimum required 60 votes.

Nonetheless, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut said Monday after a meeting with rank-and-file Democrats that “the votes are there” to pass the health care bill.

Among at least 27 Democrats who will vote against the bill is Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, who confirmed his opposition Monday.

Health care reform is needed, but the bill before us is too expensive, does not adequately address rising medical costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums, and tries to do too much too soon,” McIntyre said in a written statement. “We simply cannot afford to create a new federal bureaucracy that costs nearly $1 trillion when our national debt is $12 trillion and there is no plan in place to address it. I will not vote for it.”

Proponents of the health care plan need 216 votes to pass the Senate measure. No Republicans have indicated that they will vote for the bill, which means Democratic leaders must rely solely on votes from their own members. Democrats hold 253 House seats.

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