Monday, November 9, 2009

The Public Option Just Might Happen

A healthcare reform bill made it out of the House last week. And things are looking up in the Senate, where a Daily beast article reports that Joe Lieberman will not join Republicans in filibustering a bill with a public option.

That means that there is definitely a chance now for a public option if Lieberman really doesn’t filibuster. No way, the public option gets 60 votes, but could it get 51? I think so. Nelson, Landrieu, Bayh, Lieberman, and Baucus will probably not support a bill with a public option. But that is only five votes. In fact, this might be an ideal situation for Democrats. They can get the public option, and moderate Democrats from red states can say they voted against the plan, and not suffer the wrath of voters in 2010.

Now, any healthcare bill that gets through the senate will have to be reconciled to the House version. But I expect Pelosi to be able to not lose any more votes on a substantive House bill. So after all the doubts expressed on this blog and elsewhere, we may have the public option after all.

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