The Providence Journal has a story today suggesting that Congressman James Langevin could be a pivotal vote on health care reform, given the thin margins in the House and Langevin's position as a pro-life Democrat. Abortion restrictions, after all, are a flashpoint in the debate. And a handful of pro-life Democrats managed to win tougher-than-expected provisions in the initial House version of health care reform because their votes were so valuable.
But Langevin has repeatedly signaled that he would be open to the sort of milder restrictions that prevailed in the Senate bill and are included in the package President Obama is now pushing. And it is hard to imagine that he would shift to a harder line stance - particularly since he hails from a pro-choice state and is facing a Democratic primary challege, in an anti-incumbent year, from a pro-choice woman.