First off, the polls hold steady in support for the public option.  According to ABC/WAPO, 57 percent support a rigorous public option, and another 19 percent join them if the P.O. is limited to those who can’t afford private insurance (they still don’t get the concept, but that’s beside the point – they support a government program which costs money and the P.O., by many accounts, would save money).  The same poll has voters prioritizing the public option over bipartisanship 51 percent to 37 percent.

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Meanwhile, Sen. Tom Harkin reports that there are now 52 Senators who firmly support the public option (with Tester’s confirmation yesterday) and 5 who oppose it.  The question is whether any of the five would join a Republican filibuster.

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So Harry Reid, in the political test of his life, is trying to broker a deal behind closed doors – Dodd from the left and Baucus from the right.  And Baucus himself seems to be indicating that some sort of public option will be in the deal.

Here’s a story about an unemployed father and husband joined the military to get treatment for his cancer stricken wife.  One of many stories which should put it all in perspective for everyone, but won’t.

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Another poll to haunt Sen. Blanche Lincoln, one of the five.  She was hammered over the issue by some of her constituents, but deftly sidestepped each of their questions.

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Not a healthcare reform story, but another southern Republican takes a nostalgic plunge into biggotry, proclaiming that he is watching the nation’s pennies just like a Jew would.