Monday, October 26, 2009

Inching Forward ? ? ? ?

At least Harry Reid hasn't erected a road block to a public option.

Per Newsweek this afternoon:

Reid's Public Option: Not Exactly A Shoo-in

Monday, October 26, 2009 4:15 PM

By Katie Connolly

It wasn't long ago when pundits were calling time of death on the public option. But today, in a move that seemed almost inconceivable back in August, Harry Reid has announced that the bill he plans to take to the Senate floor will contain a public option. His version will be an "opt-out" public plan, which allows states to prevent their residents from participating it. It's not a version that entirely satsifies progressives, who'd be happier with a robust, openly accessible plan. But it's a far cry from Max Baucus's plan, which relied on co-ops rather than a public plan to induce the competition President Obama so desires.

It's unclear why Reid decided on this model, over an opt-in model or a trigger, for example. It probably has something to do with pressure from the likes of Chuck Schumer, and assurances from folks like Jay Rockerfeller that liberals would support him. Reid also said at his press conference this afternoon that he has the backing of the White House, quashing rumors (for now....) that the Administration prefers a trigger option. But there are a few key people who don't appear to support the idea. First and foremost, Olympia Snowe, who's had almost unparalleled influence of the Senate bill so far. Without her, Reid needs every single one of his 60 votes and it's far from certain that Blanche Lincoln or Ben Nelson would support it.

You can watch Reid's presser here.

Now let's see if the White House and the rest of the dems step up to the plate and push for it.

Jury's still out on both at this point . . . .

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