Having decided to drop the unconstitutional “deem and pass” method, House Democrats appear to be signaling that at the very least, they think they have the necessary 216 votes to pass health care reform. I suppose that it is possible that the House Democratic leadership is still not sure about its vote count, and thinks that “deem and pass” would have hurt the vote count, so it decided to drop it. But if this were the case, I would have to believe that the leadership would have figured it out sooner, and either dropped “deem and pass” immediately after offering up the tactic as a trial balloon, or that the leadership would not have floated the trial balloon in the first place.
As I write this, I would be more surprised to see the bill fail than I would to see it pass.
My understanding is that Bart Stupak got on board with the House Democratic leadership once President Obama promised to issue an executive order that would ban the use of public funds for abortion. That is going to hurt the effort to kill the bill, though some pro-life Democrats appear to think that an executive order will not be enough.