Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised last night
that any final version of health care reform will include a public option. "We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president's desk
," he said. His assurance comes in the wake of two different versions of the public option being voted down
in the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week. Reid is inspiring
victory laps from some liberals and skepticism from others, with one
conservative pointing out that this could spell trouble for conservative
- Progressives Demonstrate Grassroots Influence Dday lauds the liberal activism that he says made this happen. "Reid is acknowledging that he absolutely cannot get away with having a
final bill without something he can call a "public option." And
progressives have done a good job of very specifically separating out
triggers and co-ops as something that would not fit that definition.
This is almost entirely due to grassroots activism. The public option
would have been thrown out months ago if nobody was advocating for it
from the bottom up. It was certainly not the intention of anyone in
Washington to go into October with this issue still up for grabs. They
were perfectly content to jettison it to protect insurance industry
- Moderate Dems at Risk With Pressure from Left RedState's James Richardson warns
conservative Democrats that, as liberal influence rises, they risk
being ousted. "Reid's comments today represent the increasing
Democrats to attacks from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party for
rejecting the public option," he write. "Moderate Democrats must fall
in line like Speaker Reid or risk losing
deep-pocketed progressive donors and online advocates like Moulitsas."
Reid's Promise No Guarantee Alex Koppelman points out
the obstacles ahead. "Given the near-certainty that the Republicans
will filibuster and given
the hesitation about the public option -- if not outright opposition --
that some members of Reid's own caucus have expressed, this is one
promise the majority leader won't have an easy time fulfilling," he
wrote. "His scenario relied on the idea that all 60 members of the
Democratic caucus will at least come together to defeat a filibuster,
even if not all of them vote for the bill itself."
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