We know we promised to shut up about it and demanded that everyone else do the same, but there is news today, about the health care reform! It is going to happen! Reid is inching toward a liberal public option.
As the Times says:
In pushing to include a government-run health insurance plan in the health care bill, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is taking a calculated gamble that the 60 members of his caucus could support the plan if it included a way for states to opt out.
Ok. But wait. This is wrong? In including it in the legislation, Reid is just betting that 60 people won't vote to strip it out.
See the options were a) don't include a public option and hope it is added or b) include a public option and hope it isn't removed. If you include it in the bill, it takes 60 senators to strip it out. If you don't include it, it takes 60 to put it in. Reid is heavily tipping the scales in favor of a public option here, presumably because the fact that it's always polled well is news now for some reason and because of White House influence in those closed-door meetings that we talked about before.
So now if you are a "moderate" Senator who was all "I dunno about this public option thing I mean I might be a US Senator but I know the government wants to kill grandma 100% of the time" you are in a tough spot. Your options will be a) vote for a bill with a public option, b) cast a symbolic vote against a bill with a public option but don't do anything procedural to prevent it from passing, of c) kill the whole damn thing.
But the House is probably going to pass a strong, Medicare-plus-5% public option by mid-November, so if Centrist Senators want to throw their little fits until they get their way, they will most likely be forcing a compromise that looks a bit more liberal than the Senate Finance Committee bill. Like, the compromise might be the state opt-out provision, so that no one in Mississippi is forced to accept affordable health care, because they would rather go bankrupt and die, thank you.