The Popcorn Stand: No betting on The Skinny |

The Popcorn Stand: No betting on The Skinny

Wow. The Skinny on the “Skinny” is if I was a betting man I would have lost a lot of money. So thank goodness I’m not a betting man.

In Thursday’s Popcorn Stand, I wrote about how this week’s Senate votes on health care reminded me of the climatic scene in one of my favorite movies, “Advise and Consent.” I’m biased because the movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by Allen Drury. I had the privilege to interview Drury, a Porterville (Calif.) graduate from my old stomping grounds and he was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.

Well, late Thursday night we had a vote on the so-called “Skinny” bill, a partial repeal of Obamacare, and it was every bit as dramatic as that climatic scene in “Advise and Consent.” If I was a betting man, I would have bet our own senator, Dean Heller, and not John McCain would have sunk the bill.

The vote was 51-49 against with Heller voting yes and McCain effectively deciding the outcome with his no vote. Had McCain voted yes, the measure would have passed 51-50 with vice president Mike Pence casting the decisive vote. Pence was in the Senate chambers to cast that vote, only to be sent home without casting that vote.

With Gov. Brian Sandoval and other governors coming out against the “Skinny” bill, conventional wisdom would’ve been Heller would cast the no vote himself. Heller’s political opponents are already seizing on his vote and no doubt his vote will still be a major issue when he’s seeking re-election next year.

And even though I’m not a betting man I can tell you that’s a sure bet.

— Charles Whisnand