PO ' d
Submitted By Todd on October 26th at 5:59pm
Reid, who spoke with virtually every member of his 60-member caucus this weekend, currently has between 56 and 57 votes for a proposal to create a national insurance plan but allow states to opt out of it, according to Democratic aides.Don't you wonder why Democrats are so devoted to the Public Option given that they now say it would only cover a "tiny sliver" of the population and it threatens to derail reform altogether?
A public option with a "trigger" – supported by the White House and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) – has between 58 and 59 backers. It could be floated as an alternative if the opt-out measure fails to obtain the 60 votes needed for cloture, sources said.Do Democrats now feel boxed in by the left - scared of a mutiny if they don't allow the PO to fail before moving ahead with a more moderate measure?
Reid worked most of the weekend, convening several meetings with his leadership – and wrangling over the details with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.Or is the PO there so that the fight is not focused on the more general question of whether government takeover of healthcare is even a good idea?
Reid is expected to send several public option proposals to the Congressional Budget Office on Monday, and discuss the strategy Tuesday with the Democratic caucus, aides said.The Huffington Post reported over the weekend that the President has been lobbying for the Senate to give up on the PO - indicating that Reid may be playing politics, trying to molify the left.
President Barack Obama is actively discouraging Senate Democrats in their effort to include a public insurance option with a state opt-out clause as part of health care reform. In its place, say multiple Democratic sources, Obama has indicated a preference for an alternative policy, favored by the insurance industry, which would see a public plan "triggered" into effect in the future by a failure of the industry to meet certain benchmarks.