It’s down to four Democrats, two of whom have pretty much gone out so far in their threats to filibuster a public option that any reversal would look like a cave-in. This TPM article looks at each of the four. Meanwhile progressives are pushing for Democrats to sink the bill if it lacks a public option and maintains mandatory coverage. They’re asking what the point is of having a 60 vote majority if a handful of insurance donation laden pols in the party can sink the whole thing. And as I’ve noted in past posts, most of the Progressive Caucus in the House have pledged to vote against any bill without a public option.
The irony in the impasse is that the public option is by far more popular than the health care bill in its entirety, according to a host of polls that the four and the Republicans refuse to even discuss. And never mind that the CBO has scored the public option, particularly one which locks compensation into Medicare rates, is fiscally sound.
Progressives are pushing for Reid to use the process of reconciliation, but it’s not clear exactly what portions of the bill can be passed. There are plenty of other complications and ambiguities and even the progressives in the Senate aren’t pushing it as desireable.
Then there is the “nuclear option” which has been popular as Republicans have shattered all records of filibusters over the past couple of years. Rep. Alan Grayson is proposing that the filibuster proof majority be reduced to 55, which is a pretty convenient number but also in many minds a reasonable one.
Meanwhile, first government takeovers, then death panels, and now the opposition wants you to believe that health care reform will take away your guns.
Anyway, can anybody picture Jimmy Stewart playing Lieberman?