MacIver News Service – Wisconsin Democratic Congressmen Steve Kagen and Ron Kind announced Saturday that they would vote in favor of the Senate health care bill. Their decisions would seem to ensure that the plan would pass the House of Representatives when the final votes are taken later today.
Kind (WI-3rd) announced his support at a Capitol press conference after brokering a deal to modify Medicare reimbursement rates for Wisconsin providers.
Kagen (WI-8th) publicly admitted what many in Washington had been reporting for days by issuing a press release announcing his support of the plan.
“This bill saves lives and jobs by putting patients first, strengthening Medicare and guaranteeing access to affordable care for all of us,” Kagen said.
House Democratic leaders abandoned plans to advance the bill without a formal up or down vote. The controversial ‘deem and pass’ procedure was too politically unpalatable for many members whose votes were needed for passage.
It appears House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has secured the 216 votes necessary to pass the bill. This comes on the heels of hundreds of impromptu ‘tea parties’ across the country Saturday, including several in Wisconsin and one in Washington, DC that drew tens of thousands of protesters. Several busloads of individuals caravaned from Wisconsin for the DC rally.
The final votes on the House floor are expected sometime Sunday afternoon