Is the end nigh?

In the homestretch of the health care debate, one obvious question being asked across the capital is whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi will find 216 votes to pass the bill. For a group of particularly jittery Democrats, the better question may be this: Who will be allowed to slip away?

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There are, of course, very few votes to spare. Yet there are some. And even most Republican leaders concede that the mystery is not so much whether Democrats will reach the magic number of 216, but rather whose names will be included as yes votes in the final count.

“Every vote around here is a heavy lift,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters Thursday.

I’m sure it is.