What's Going on with the Public Option?

Posted on 25. Oct, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Even if you’ve obsessively followed the myriad twists and turns of the health care reform debate, the current drama surrounding the fate of the public option seems like something out of a Dan Brown page-turner: threats, back room meetings, questionable motives and misinformation cloud the picture.

As a new week starts, though,  it does appear that things are clearing up for those who back some sort of government backed health insurance plan as a compromise of sorts seems to be coming into view. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, apparently unable to gather the votes needed for a “robust public option”, signaled that she would be willing to accept an “opt out” scenario under which a national public plan would be created by the government and it would be left to individual states to decide about enacting it. She appears to have the votes to pass that scaled down plan, so the action has moved back to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid seems to almost have the votes to also get through an “opt out” plan (though the White House, in an effort to give a veneer of bipartisan cooperation to the entire enterprise, seems to pushing for Olympia Snowe’s “trigger” alternative, for which Reid also apparently has the votes).

The situation is fluid and there are still some potential pitfalls along the way (nobody’s quite sure if Ben Nelson will actually support a GOP filibuster), but it’s looking like the Democrats might actually end up delivering on President Obama’s chief legislative priority before he gives his first state of the union in January.

Now if they can just figure out how to make it work the way the think it will…


Comments are closed.