WASHINGTON – Storm warnings on the healthcare reform front: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Sunday President Barack Obama may lack the votes in the Senate necessary to push the health care reform he wants this summer.

“Well to be candid with you, I don’t know that he has the votes right now,” the senator said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.”

Hesitation

With Republicans such as Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Richard Lugar of Indiana warning about the costs of everything the federal government already has done this year, Democrats may be hesitant to vote for another trillion-dollar plan.

“Sen. Lugar’s point about the economy, the trillions of dollars that have gone into buttressing the economy, now we’re going to be dealing with regulation of the financial sector,” Feinstein told CNN’s John King. “What all of the impact of this is not yet known.”

“You have enormous problems in my state,” Feinstein added. “California’s bigger than the populations of 21 states and the District of Columbia put together.

“We have an enormous health care industry, 350 hospitals. University of California alone has 34,000 health care workers, has health care worth $4 billion a year. So it’s complicated. Additionally, the state is in a state of financial catastrophe. I think that’s clear. So, if you change the Medicaid rate, for example, it has an impact on California between $1 billion and $5 billion a year. Now, how could I support that? Because it would take down the state.”


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