Breakthrough, Or The Great Punkin’?

February 20th, 2010at 11:37am Posted by Eli


On the one hand, Harry Reid has announced his… non-opposition to passing the public option via reconciliation:

With more and more Senators signing on to the letter urging Reid to hold an up or down vote on the public option under reconciliation rules, Reid spokesman Rodell Mollineau sends over a statement signaling Reid’s qualified support for the move:

Senator Reid has always and continues to support the public option as a way to drive down costs and create competition. That is why he included the measure in his original health care proposal.

If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstacles and secure enough votes.

Woohoo.  But here’s what scares me:

To be sure, public option supporters still face a steep climb. It’s far from decided whether reconciliation will ultimately be used to pass reform. What’s more, senior Senate aides still think there’s a procedural obstacle in their path: They insist that in order for them to pass a fix to their bill via reconciliation, the House must pass it first — something House leaders oppose.

While I do believe that most of the Senators who have signed the PO letter are sincere, I can’t help but think that Reid (and probably Obama) are trying to make the reconciliation sidecar’s chances look as strong as possible to con the House into voting on the current Senate bill without it.  I’m glad the House leadership still isn’t buying it, but the Senate’s continued insistence that the House must pass the crappy bill first looks like a big ol’ red flag to me.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics

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