The numbers game gets more and more interesting every day in the Congress, as you need a program to keep up with Election Year changes in the House - and how they will impact efforts by Democrats to get a health care bill through the Congress.
As everyone knows from their civics classes, the House has 435 members when every seat is filled.
But right now, we have several vacancies, and that may grow again today.
Currently, the House is at 432 members, as three seats are vacant, all of them Democrats:
+ Florida's 19th District (Rep. Robert Wexler went to private sector) + Hawaii's 1st District (Rep. Neal Abercrombie running for Governor) + Pennsylvania 12th (Rep. John Murtha died in February)
All three of those members voted for health reform, so those are three votes that Democrats have lost.
With 432 members in the House, that means Democrats would need 217 votes to prevail on health care; a 216-216 tie would defeat the measure.
But now, Democrats seem like they may get a break in the Health Care Numbers game, as Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) has announced he will resign his seat in the House, in order to concentrate more on his run for Governor in Georgia.
That would reduce the House to 431 members, meaning a majority also shrinks by one to 216. Deal's resignation becomes effective next Monday, March 8.
So, while Deal might be "focusing" on his run for Governor, he might also be giving the Democrats a little help on health care reform - if it comes up for a vote by Easter in the House.
As for the three seats above - the Florida seat gets filled on April 13 - that will stay in the hands of Democrats.
The Hawaii and Pennsylvania seats will have special elections in mid-May. If the Congress hasn't finished health care by then, those seats could well determine the future of that controversial legislative initiative.