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Pelosi Claims Health Care Bill Has Enough Votes to Pass, Despite Skepticism

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday said health care reform legislation was ripe for passage on the House floor. 

At the same time, Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the only House panel yet to vote on the health care bill, said he intends to forge ahead with a committee vote Thursday afternoon. 

But the fiscally conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs cast doubt on both claims. 

The disagreements reflected the growing confusion over the state of play of health care reform legislation as President Obama took his push to the public in a prime-time news conference. 

Health care reform, the touchstone of Obama's legislative agenda, remains stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee due to disagreements between the Democratic leadership and the Blue Dog Coalition. 

"I am hoping to have a markup in our committee tomorrow afternoon," Waxman said Wednesday, referring to a session where committees write the final version of legislation. The statement came after he postponed the session indefinitely on Tuesday. 

However, leading Blue Dog, Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., said he thought that was wishful thinking by the chairman. 

"No way. No way. They haven't even started yet," Melancon said. 

Despite the trouble on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Pelosi suggested their work might not even be needed. 

"I have no question that we have the votes on the floor of the House to pass this legislation," Pelosi said. 

But Blue Dogs, like Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., respectfully disagreed. 

"The speaker was well-intended. But I don't think the votes are there now," Hill said. 

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also told The Hill Wednesday that a vote on health care reform in the Senate is unlikely to occur before the Aug. 7 recess. 

Meanwhile, Blue Dog Coalition members continued slogging through a list of 10 issues to resolve costs and address other concerns. 

However, Waxman underscored the importance of what at least one Blue Dog described as a "breakthrough" Tuesday: the creation of a non-partisan, independent advisory council called IMAC. Comprised of doctors and health experts, IMAC would monitor the costs of Medicare

"The administration feels this is a game-changer that will hold down costs in the future," Waxman said. 

Waxman also says that he is rushing to get the Congressional Budget Office to evaluate the costs of new proposals to meet the Blue Dogs demands. But Waxman was reluctant to say the House could approve a new health care bill by the middle of next week. 

"It's something I would like to see happen. But it's not in my control," he said. "Members have to feel a certain comfort level with the legislation." 

FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.