House Democratic sources deny that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “released” any Democrats to vote no on the health care bill — but some of the nays were clearly more acceptable to leadership than others.
Most of the southern and western no’s [Bobby Bright (D-Ala.), Travis Childers (D-Miss.), Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), etc.] were the subject of personal lobbying by the speaker and her deputies, according to several sources. But Pelosi and Co. realized early on that their districts dictated their votes and a yes could be political suicide and more or less let them off the hook.