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This from ABC's Jonathon Karl is fun:

I am told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leaning toward including the creation of a new government-run insurance program – the so-called public option – in the health care reform bill he will bring to the full Senate in the coming weeks.

Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.

This is not because there has been a new groundswell of support for the idea.  In fact, there are still a handful of Democrats who --  along with Olympia Snowe and every other Republican – oppose the idea.  As recently as this morning, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for one, dismissed recent polls that show public support for the idea, telling NPR, "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no."

That would appear to be a problem because Reid needs 60 votes to pass a health care bill and there are simply not 60 Senators who support a public option.  But Reid is now convinced that Democratic critics of the public option will support him when it counts – on the procedural motion, which requires 60 votes, to defeat a certain GOP-led filibuster of the bill.  Once the filibuster is beaten, it only takes 51 votes to pass the bill.


This is not a done deal.  I am told that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) – who worked for months to get Olympia Snowe’s support for the bill and has consistently said a public option cannot pass the Senate – was apoplectic when Reid told him he wanted to include the public option.  "Baucus went to DEFCON 1," said a source familiar with the negotiations, referring to the alert level the military uses for an imminent attack on the homeland.

Mary Landrieu, who obviously doesn't read the news and is unaware of the most recent CBO scoring of the public option aside, this is guardedly good news, depending on who the "Democratic sources" are. But it does bolster a TPMDC story that  consensus is emerging among moderates and in the White House toward the public option in the form of an opt-out, which is what Karl is reporting Reid wants to include.

Two high profile conservative Democrats are saying they hear that Senate and White House health care negotiators are leaning toward including the public option in the base bill that they bring to the Senate floor.

"I keep hearing there is a lot of leaning toward some sort of national public option, unfortunately, from my standpoint," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). "I still believe a state-based approach is the way in which to go. So I'm not being shy about making that point."

"What I'm hearing is this is the direction of the conversation," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).

Carper, who had the original opt in idea, also says this is where the bill is headed. And the left flank of Senate Dems, Jay Rockefeller has indicated that he's not entirely opposed to an opt out. The outlines that Carper and Rockefeller have given for their understanding of it--that it would be a national plan that states could only opt out of a year or two after implementation--makes it more attractive for the majority of Dems who want the strong public option. If saying that down the road states can leave is enough to get moderates on board--and the public option in the Senate bill--it seems that many of them will be able to live with that.

Update: Not so fast, says Greg Sargent:

ABC reported today that they have the goods, citing Democratic sources and claiming Reid "has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option." ABC said Reid is now convinced that even if some moderates are still holding out against it, they will ultimately vote for it on the procedural vote to get it past a filibuster.

Not so much, a Senior Senate aide claims. "He has not concluded anything yet," the aide said of Reid. "But he is more optimistic."

Interestingly, though, the aide endorsed Kent Conrad’s claim today that "the direction of the conversation" is towards putting the public option in the final bill.

"He is correct," the aide said of Conrad. "That is where we maybe, again maybe, are headed."

Another trial balloon being floated? It is interesting that Reid's staffer confirmed the Conrad quote, so we do at least know that they're, in Reid's famous words, "leaning" that way.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does Reid have 60 votes for cloture? (18+ / 0-)

    I do NOT trust LIEberman at all.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:33:44 PM PDT

  •'re worthless (10+ / 0-)

    I was just in MT.  The people of Libby do not like you very much.

    Now with your behavior in "leading" the drafting of this bill in OUR Senate Finance Committee, the rest of the nation does not like you very much.

    You and Mary Landrieu can go pay for health insurance in another country of your choice, thank you very much.

    I for one, will take the public option.

  •  Oh dear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, TomP, Losty

    If the opt-out is in the Senate bill, not only may it struggle to get 60 votes, it's going to cause a shitstorm with the House, where a LOT of Democrats are dead-set against it.

    The opt-out is, like the trigger and the co-op, a way to claim "we have a public option!" while actually watering down the public option to the point of meaninglessness.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:35:10 PM PDT

    •  disagree (23+ / 0-)

      Medicare has an opt-out, and it isn't watered down.

      I find the opt-out concept to be qualitatively different from co-ops or triggers. The co-op is just a completely different concept and triggers start from a place of no public option at all.

      An opt-out starts with a public option and then says state's can opt-out, just like Medicare.

      And just like Medicare (and more recently the stimulus), when push comes to shove, states will opt-in, not out.

      •  Aside from the naivety (7+ / 0-)

        Of thinking a lot of states won't actually opt out - or did you not hear about the VA governor debate this week, where both candidates said they'd opt out, including the likely winner (McDonnell), there are some rather important figures in the House who do not support it.

        People like Raul Grijalva and the CPC:

        The CPC totally disagrees with the opt-out position in any form.

        Kudos to the CPC for refusing to toss millions of people in red states who need health care overboard.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:40:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's called (11+ / 0-)

          GRANDSTANDING. They would never EVER opt out.

          "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

          by theone718 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:43:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure they would (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, CWalter, Dauphin, poxonyou, Losty

            I know you don't understand red state politics very well, so I will explain it easily and clearly for you.

            Republicans, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc, will start mobilizing people to oppose "Obama's socialist health care" in many of these red states. That sews up the GOP for the opt-out, and some of the independents and moderates who are vulnerable to that nonsense.

            Then the insurance companies come in, state by state, spending tons of money to protect their customer base from the public option via an opt-out. They will have a far easier time of it going state by state, because most people don't pay attention to state politics, because it's WAY easier to sway a state legislator than a member of Congress, and because once Obama signs a bill, the public and the media will simply move on to something else and momentum will be gone.

            Sure, there will be some people who would fight an opt-out. But they'll be demagogued as socialists while insurers convince folks that a public option will raise their own rates or undermine private insurance. They'll also point out that they'd keep all the other beneficial parts of the reform, and even keep the money, but reject Obama's "socialist option."

            And whether it's a legislative vote or a referendum, the opt-out will pass in at least 20 states.

            THAT is the political reality all these opt-out supporters do not understand. They believe, against the evidence, that a public option is the #1 issue for people in red states, that it outweighs all other political considerations, that voters will make decisions based solely on whether their politicians back it or not.

            I'm not even convinced that's true in the blue states. I am 100% certain it is untrue in the red states.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:44:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  On the other hand, (4+ / 0-)

              a few years down the road there would be an obvious disparity in the quality of healthcare in recalcitrant states and in states which would not opt out. That could give rise to popular pressure to change the states' policy.

              Furthermore, businesses, which do have to pay large healthcare costs, would probably support an introduction of the public option or move to states which decide not to opt out. That way you pit the insurance industry against both the population and other businesses. Not a good position to find yourself in.

              Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

              by Dauphin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:52:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  First (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dauphin, poxonyou

                You need to respond directly to my points. Don't change the subject.

                Second, we have obvious disparities in health care, education, and a wide range of other services between states. It hasn't done shit to cause pressure to change policies.

                Businesses are all the time arguing for less government spending and less government regulation. And while Mississippi might have higher health care costs with an opt-out, they'd still have lower wages and other costs of business would be lower. Most companies wouldn't make an issue out of the opt-out.

                Now, I insist you respond to my points in the comment above.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:57:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Ad 1: Yes, the fringe will mobilise on the healthcare front. It's a perfect subject to whip up a moral panic on, pass legislation, and convince the unconvinced. That is more or less their strategy lately.

                  But consider: Moral panics are not a done deal. The feminist anti-pornography crusade is a perfect example of a moral panic which affected only a small sector of the population. The reason was that, while unconfirmed rumours and tall tales from dubious sources fuel a moral panic, claims too outrageous tend to stymie a moral panic, especially if that's all a moral panic has (paraphrased from Good and Ben-Yehuda, 2009). They tend to turn off society at large.

                  Is that not what we have here? A vast majority of the population supports the public option, even if it means paying higher taxes. Pitting claims as outrageous as Limbaugh is likely to produce against the people's first-hand experience probably wouldn't work, not even in red states. It would only energise their base, which is extremely frothing as it is. Independents and moderates are not a done deal, especially in face of counter-campaigning.

                  Ad 2: Yes, it's way easier to swing a state legislator. But you have to control a lot of them. You might net a state or three... but with 50 battlegrounds, isn't overstretching a possibility? Furthermore, seriously, what effort does it take to block something at the federal level? All you need is 41 Senators: All the Republicans and one Democrat. Given profits of the insurance company has, their campaign contributions ($400,000 on average, if memory serves correctly) are pitiful. Senators aren't expensive creatures. As a rule of thumb: $400,000 x 41 =

                  1. Not a lot. And let's throw in a million for hookers and four million four holidays and dinners. Not prohibitive, even at the federal level.

                  If we assume the insurance companies would campaign in twenty states, divide that amount by twenty. Suddenly, that's not a lot of money to control a legislature in face of popular pressure, is there?

                  Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

                  by Dauphin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:10:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Opting out might affect businesses (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ferg, Superribbie, boofdah, Dauphin

                  unlike disparities in education and other services. If a business can count on employees using the public option rather than having to provide insurance for them, the state that is opting-in might be more attractive to the business. Large corporations..maybe not..ALTHOUGH the increased competition might drive down health care costs for them as well, creating more profit.

                  The cost of business might be competitive in Illinois compared to Mississippi for many businesses if they do not have to provide health insurance or if health insurance costs go down...even if wages are higher.

            •  While possible... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tuffie, Superribbie

              given that they would only be given the option of opting out after a year or two of it being in place, just like other "socialist" things like Medicare and Social Security, the people will seem to like it.  When people see something working, they're not apt to give it up that quickly, even with TV ads.  If the rates don't go skyrocketing up, then when they try to claim that this public option is making rates go up, they'll simply be laughed at by anyone with a functioning brain.  (OK, admittedly, you don't see much of that among those Southern birthers.)

              I think it'll be more like the stimulus fight, where all those Republican governors raised holy hell over stimulus funds, and yet all of them eventually had to take them, even Mark Sanford.

              •  You don't understand how red state politics work (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                At all.

                Voters in those states pride themselves on having weak government services.

                Maybe if the opt-out only is possible after 5-10 years of the public option being available, you might have a point.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:58:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Will nothing happen in the first 2 years? (0+ / 0-)

                  If so, then let's pressure Congress to write it so that the opt-out can only occur after 5 years then.  Problem solved.

                  Weak government services is one thing.  Personal insurance premiums is another.  Even red staters who have insurance know how much they're paying in premiums per month, and they know when their premiums get raised.

                  If the public option works like we've been told, then their rates won't go up (well, at least not by 111% or something), and then that takes away a central component of the insurance companies' claims about rising costs.

            •  You don't think we couldn't blow the opt-out (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              crowd to hell?  Shoot.  First demand a referendum.  Fight that out in the courts.  Win or lose, time is spent with folks in the "opt-out" states being exposed to the reality of the lower cost, but equivalent coverage, public option.  Do a series of ads with "Tom and his family with a public option compared to Bill and his family (identical demographic and medical profiles) who don't have that public option.  No contest.

              You can talk about the evils of socialism all you want - out of pocket costs trump ideology every time.

              "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

              by LouisMartin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:56:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hahahahahaha (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wsexson, Losty

                That's an incredibly naive statement.

                Money - corporate campaign spending - trumps out of pocket costs all the time.

                You're going to lose these battles in the state legislatures and referendums because you will be outspent by insurance companies looking to protect their profit margins and customer base.

                If you think ballot initiatives are decided by reason and rational analysis, you are out of your fucking mind. Come to California. I'll show you numerous examples of how a "blue state" electorate repeatedly votes against their self-interest because a tsunami of corporate cash convinced them to do so.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:00:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Besides (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, Losty

            If McDonnell can say he'd opt-out and win the election anyway, that totally disproves the theory that opting out would never happen because it'd somehow be political suicide.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:45:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  not if the other guys says he will too (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              It's only a point in McDonnell's favor if he's for it and Deeds isn't. If Deeds says he's for it too, then it's a wash.

              I'll newsflash ya--Fox and all the rest have spent months trying to get red states to "opt out" of the stimulus bill. Didn't happen, and now they smile and hold checks from the stimulus. Same with Medicare many Reps voted to kill government health care in their state? Zero. Same with Medicaid. How many have opted out since 1982? Zero.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:59:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The point is that McDonnell is going to win an election even though he said he'll opt out. That means he sees no political liability in doing so.

                I know you're smarter than the average Kossack, and you know how state politics works. Tell me that in these state-by-state battles, insurance companies aren't at a huge advantage with their lobbying power in legislatures, their ability to set the frame of debate on TV with ads, and their ability to use right-wing talk radio to scare people into thinking the public option will destroy their private insurance.

                The stimulus issue is not directly comparable, because 1) states will likely be able to opt out of the public option and keep the money, 2) the stimulus didn't threaten the customer base of a multibillion dollar industry, and 3) the teabaggers hadn't yet been fully mobilized when the stimulus came down.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:03:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  there's no advantage (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Maybe there IS political liability, but if the other guy says he'll do it too, there's no gain in voting for McDonnell on that basis. The fact that he sees no liability is virtually meaningless; he doesn't see a liability for a lot of retrograde opinions, apparently.

                  I'll tell you how they aren't at a huge advantage: they've already given us their worst, and the public is almost more in favor of a PO than ever. And I don't see how anyone will have the will and political power to take away something that was working for a couple of years--which is apparently how it will work, that you couldn't opt out until it was already in place.

        's Progressive Community

                  by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:09:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  McDonnell... (0+ / 0-)

                  since I didn't see the debate, what was the crowd reaction when he said he'd opt out?

          •  bingo (0+ / 0-)

            that's exactly what it was.

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:56:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not a single state (6+ / 0-)

          has "opted out" of Medicare, despite the fact that it's all 'Socialist' and stuff.  How is this different?

          •  Because (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, CWalter, Losty
            1. The public option would benefit a class of people in these states who lack political power, whereas Medicare benefits seniors
            1. Medicare's been in place for 40 years, easier to just let it slide
            1. This is a freebie for all the wingnuts to grandstand against Obama's "socialism" while keeping the money and the other elements of reform. Mark my words, a lot of states will opt out. If you think they won't, then you have a superficial understanding of red state politics.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:47:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  they didnt opt out 40 years ago either (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, pgm 01, math4barack

              back when the folks you speak of DID grandstand about it being socialism (actually they used the C-word back then).

              •  40 years ago was a totally different era (0+ / 0-)

                Especially politically. These states that are now "red" were at the time governed by people friendly to the New Deal or at least to the idea of government helping old people.

                Once again you opt-out supporters are demonstrating dangerous levels of political ignorance and recklessness.

                Am I the only one who heard Bob McDonnell say he'd opt out?

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:54:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Like I said (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Radical Moderate, math4barack

                  didnt Palin, and several other folks say they were going to "opt out" of the stimulus package? Did they?

                  The one guy who did, his legislature overruled him.

                  •  The stimulus was different (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    1. states will likely be able to opt out of the public option and keep the money, 2) the stimulus didn't threaten the customer base of a multibillion dollar industry, and 3) the teabaggers hadn't yet been fully mobilized when the stimulus came down.

                    Again: the whole pro-opt out argument is that voters will rise up in anger at any Republican who rejects the public option. McDonnell proves this is a naive lie.

                    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                    by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:04:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  uh no (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Radical Moderate

                      McDonnell doesnt prove it a lie any more the folks who originally talked big about not taking the stimulus proved that opt-out provision a lie.

                      The states will not be able to opt out and keep the money, where are you getting that from??

                      The teabaggers are fairly well irrelevant fringe folks, not sure why you are assigning them such power.

                      You also assign too much power to industry. If they are powerful as you make it seem, heck might as well just give up anyways.

            •  it's Medicaid (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pgm 01, math4barack

              not Medicare that is opt-out, I believe.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:59:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Like when all those red states opted out-stim $? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Radical Moderate, math4barack

              Sarah Palin refused like $50,000 of weatherproofing money for AK. As I understand it, SC, TX and LA took it all, sometimes after some phony legal wrangling. And Bobby the Page is going around his state handing out stim money on giant novelty checks.

              So 99.99% of stimulus money was not opted out of. I think the public option opt out will play in a very similar fashion.

              And if a few of the stupidest, most backward, regressive states do opt out? A 47 state public option is still infinitely better than a 0 state public option.

              America, f*** yeah!!

              by Tuffygoyf on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:06:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  public option benefits small businesses (3+ / 0-)

              That's the key difference. If it was just the uninsured, I might agree with your logic, but the main beneficiaries of the public option are small businesses under 25 employees. Mom and Pop businesses. No politician in their right mind will campaign to hurt them.

              "At the end of the day, the public plan wins the game." Sen. Ben Nelson

              by ferg on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:22:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  you call it naivete (0+ / 0-)

          I could as easily call it cynicism.

          All of the points you raised below applied to the stimulus money as well.

          States could opt out of that too.

          Why didn't they?

          •  Because (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, Losty

            The stimulus money was a freebie - and some states, like Louisiana, have rejected parts of the stimulus.

            Stimulus money did not threaten a wealthy and politically connected industry (insurers) or their customer base.

            Finally, stimulus money wasn't easy to demagogue as "socialism."

            This is massively naive thinking here. Just insane. Am I the only one who heard Bob McDonnell say he would opt out?

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:55:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  several folks said they would (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              opt out of the stimulus, they didnt.

              The public option is federal money, not state, so how is this any less "free money" than the stimulus from the POV of the states.

            •  he won't even be governor then (0+ / 0-)

              He's not going to be governor in 2015, which would appear to be the first time any state could try according to what is rumored to be discussed.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:02:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's the key (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Coldblue Steele, Fonsia

                If the opt-out can only be exercised after the PO has been up and running for several years, then it is possible the opt-out efforts would fail, though in states like Texas and Alabama it is still likely to succeed.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:05:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you simply have no evidence of that (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Superribbie, math4barack

                  All of the precedent is against you on this. There is no example you can offer where states opted out in any kind of similar situation. You can assert one position, and I can assert the other--but there's only evidence to back up my assertion.

                  As I understand what is being said about the opt-out, they are planning for some kind of honeymoon before you can opt out. Which I think means there is virtually NO chance a single state will opt out.

        's Progressive Community

                  by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:11:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    What makes you believe all the right-wing freak-out about Obama's socialism, which is of a strength unlike anything we've seen in the past, would somehow go away, even though there might not be any financial consequence to an opt-out, and even though insurance companies would have a massive incentive to push for state opt-outs?

                    The fact is we've never had "any kind of similar situation" so we can't just look at Medicare and say we'll be fine.

                    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                    by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 04:01:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  A couple of steps in the interim (11+ / 0-)

      Better to have the public option in the bill that goes to the floor than not. 60 votes to remove it will be impossible. Yes, better to have a real public option, I have very serious doubts that they can pull that off.

      So then a public option in the bill that goes to conference, where Pelosi can fight like hell for the better public option.

      •  here's another news link for you (6+ / 0-)

        And yes, we'll be working to leverage pressure for the better PO.

        I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

        by slinkerwink on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:40:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  God I hope you're right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, mcjoan, TomP

        I still feel the presence of the opt-out in the Senate bill will cause massive problems for the health care coalition, as it risks wedging that coalition apart (red state supporters would rightly be outraged, especially when some blue state supporters say it's a good idea). If the media gets a hold of it I think that damage would be even deeper.

        Grijalva and the CPC are going to vehemently oppose the opt-out, as they should. Let's hope it dies in the conference committee.

        If it makes it out of the conference committee I would have to very strongly consider opposing the bill entirely.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:42:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That makes no sense. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superribbie, pgm 01, math4barack

          Why would you oppose a reform that some states might try to opt out of, but that would make life better for the vast majority of Americans? What would you gain? Sounds like some kind of dog-in-the-manger thing.

          Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

          by DaveW on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:50:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, PolitiCalypso

            I refuse to throw people overboard. I am not going to sacrifice good, decent, people who need a public option merely because they live in a red state.

            Sink or swim together.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:51:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're not throwing them overboard. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, math4barack

              All those good folks in red states will see exactly who doesn't want them to have a wonderful benefit that's available in other states.  Enact something that stupid and then watch how many pols file election papers.

              It wouldn't be as damaging if the public option would be a mess.  But that ain't gonna happen.  The benfits will start to show almost immediately.  Game, set and match.

              "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

              by LouisMartin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:06:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We will also see exactly who made it possible (0+ / 0-)

                for our troglodyte state governments to deny us this benefit.

                "Blue" red state residents don't vote for Republican state officials anyway!  We aren't the ones who put them in office and we expect nothing less than right-wing crap out of them.  Our neighbors do that.  You know, the neighbors who will look us in the eye when we say we have been put through hell with our insurers, and shrug and say that it's the cost of living in a free market society.  Yes, this has happened to me.  They don't give a DAMN about whether their neighbors are suffering, especially if their neighbors are "liberals."  My deranged Congressional representative was the one who made the "joke" about how liberal tree-huggers were a waste of good ammunition.  That is the mentality down here.  We don't SUPPORT the people who would actually do the denying.

                We DO, however, support progressive and Democratic candidates, and if THEY backstab us, THAT is what we won't be forgetting.

       There ARE still liberals hailing from the Deep South.

                by PolitiCalypso on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:28:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  they're not getting it anyway (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, BruinKid, math4barack

              LA has no public option.
              With a non-opt out plan, LA will still have no public option...because none will pass the Senate.
              With an opt-out plan, LA actually has a chance to have a public option. Why would you not want them to have that chance?

              Backing any bill without a robust public option is throwing EVERYONE overboard, no matter what state they live in.

              Also, look down the road. House passed Med + 5 without an opt out, Senate passes HELP version with an opt out. What are the two likeliest choices of agreement?

              Med+5 WITH optout
              HELP WITHOUT optout

              Either of those would be a tremendous, massive victory for the country, given our current political context. Otherwise, the end result is likely to be closer to HELP with an optout, which is not nearly as good as either of the above choices.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:06:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're not throwing them. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, mike101, pgm 01, math4barack

              They're throwing themselves. It's called democracy, which requires that we at some point reap what we sow.

              Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

              by DaveW on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:07:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry but I live in socialist blue state (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Superribbie, daveinchi

              and I don't want my options regulated by backwards politicians trying to impress a ridiculously small and idiotic base who happens to be concentrated enough in a few states to run them.  Why should I have to drown?  Our system is one that gives incredible power to the states, and they can use that power the way they want in those states, whether to improve the lives of their citizens or to stand back.  

              There has been a division from the very founding of this nation, about the role and nature of government in lives of its citizens.  That has not changed, and so the best option is to let those states who truly believe this public option is damaging to the way they view the role of government to opt out.  The majority get coverage and the minority if they chose to opt out will deal with the consequences and will eventually opt-in.  In one scenario the majority gets a strong public option, and in the other nobody does, and while far from ideal, it make sense to allow the minority to opt-out if the want, it is for the greater good.

              •  This is the view that health coverage is not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pgm 01

                a fundamental right, but is instead a privilege to be bestowed upon the fortunate by popular will.

                They're not just opting themselves out; they are opting ME out too.  They are voting on my rights.

                I thought we were against the idea of rights being determined by mob rule, in the wake of Proposition 8.  Or was that only because California and LGBT people vote blue?

       There ARE still liberals hailing from the Deep South.

                by PolitiCalypso on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:30:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The short answer is that while healthcare (0+ / 0-)

                  and access to it should be considered a fundamental right, the people in charge in DC right now, whether in Congress or the White House, do not see it that way.  It has not been sold that way to the public and as a result most of the public won't see it that way either.  That will unfortunately be a later battle, when we try to move from our private-public option mess into a government run system.  That is the number one reason that the fear of losing the horrible system we have now prevents us from enacting a fully public system, people are not used to thinking about it as a right, but as a privilege.  Insurance is bestowed upon those lucky enough to have jobs that have insurance benefits, but even those benefits come with obscure rules and restrictions.  In order to have a government run system in the future we will have to make the case for healthcare as a right, but winning that battle will take far more time than we have to pass the bills that exist today.

            •  By that logic, (0+ / 0-)

              we should all voluntarily disclose personal data about women who get abortions.  If Oklahoma has such a degrading law on the books, we should all suffer in solidarity with them.  

              I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

              by Superribbie on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:35:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you want to go down that road (0+ / 0-)

                Oklahoma's insane abortion rules are the product of the de facto opt-out that blue state pro-choice activists have embraced, by their unwillingness to pursue federal abortion laws.

                I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

                by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 04:04:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That may be true, (0+ / 0-)

                  but I sure as hell don't want the whack jobs in the Oklahoma government holding back the rest of the country on anything.

                  I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

                  by Superribbie on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 08:11:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  The opt-out is a horrible idea, I agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene, wsexson

          Anyone who honestly thinks that no red states would opt out is living in a dream world.  It is true that none of them rejected the stimulus money, however:

          1.  More than one red state DID "opt out" of extending unemployment benefits to part-time employees who were laid off, including my state.  The parts of the stimulus that were not rejected were parts to fund things like road construction.  I.e., pork.  The public option is a way to help people rather than to enrich any businesses or fund pork projects.
          1.  Red states have routinely "opted out" of providing decent government services to their residents.  It has not turned them blue, as the opt-out supporters ought to take note of.
          1.  I am on the state employee health insurance system, which -- though administered by Blue Cross -- actually pays all claims out of state treasury money rather than through Blue Cross.  They just do the paperwork.  I am currently fighting with them to get medical care covered that they are claiming is a pre-existing condition, despite that I have no gaps in coverage.  My case is absolutely clear-cut, but they're denying it (for now) to see if they can get away with it and stick a pre-existing condition clause on my account before health care reform comes down the pike.  The state must have approved this Blue Cross policy.  With this kind of crap taking place, I have no doubt in my mind that my state would opt out.
          1.  "Letting the South go" never worked in the past.  In fact, "letting the South go" in 1877 just ushered in Jim Crow and pushed back civil rights for nearly 100 years.
          1.  Perhaps most importantly, if we let states opt out, we are sending the message that access to health care is NOT a fundamental human or civil right in the U.S., but is instead a privilege dependent upon where one happens to live.

 There ARE still liberals hailing from the Deep South.

          by PolitiCalypso on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:23:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The opt out has a better chance of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LouisMartin, TomP, math4barack

      getting 60 votes in the Senate, than the robust PO does.

      •  But it also has a lesser chance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Losty

        Of gaining 218 votes in the House.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:47:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Eugene, you are confusing the process. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01, math4barack, John Yossarian

          The House will pass a version with a strong public option.  The Senate will pass a version with a weak public option.  The bills will be sent to a join committee to reconcile them.  The strong option stays in, and the opt-out gets thrown out of the final bill.  Then the reconciled bill goes back to both houses where it cannot be amended and gets a straight vote, no filibuster.  We win.

          The only thing that could screw that up is if some folks who don't understand the process get all excited about trying to match the Senate and House bills before reconciliation takes place.  If there is a public option in both bills, no matter how different, then there must be a public option in the final bill.

          "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

          by LouisMartin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:14:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  States don't refuse highway funding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01

      which has opt-out previsions.  Remember, Reagan and Congress was able to get every state in the Union to raise the drinking age to 21 by tieing it highway funding.

      It's about time I changed my signature.

      by Khun David on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:50:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jindal refused HSR stimulus funds (0+ / 0-)

        And more to the point, the states would opt out of the public option alone - and not out of all the other reforms.

        You are ignoring the conservative politics around this, ignoring how red state politics work, and overstating the popularity of the public option in said red states.

        Am I the only one who heard Bob McDonnell pledge to opt-out?

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:53:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He'd need a bill from the legislature first (0+ / 0-)

          and then the will to actually follow through with it.  All speculative.

          I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

          by Superribbie on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:37:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Conference will have a trade between the bills (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Medicare rates and opt out or negotiated rates and no opt out.  

      Frankly, I like the opt out idea as long as an opt out requires affirmative legislation.  Which means a bill passing both state houses and signed by the governor.  With that requirement, it will be a small minority of states that actually do it--and the ones that don't will really see a difference in costs.

      I'mma let you finish, Barack, but the teabaggers have done about the most for international peace of all time.--The collective GOP 10/9/09

      by Superribbie on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  um it isn't going to hit the house (0+ / 0-)

      the two bills will be merged in conference

  •  I find the opt-out provision clever (12+ / 0-)
    1. it mimics Medicare
    1. like Medicare, no one is actually going to opt-out
    1. it silences the whole government takeover BS since states don't have to participate if they don't want to (but of course they will).
    •  Exactly. (6+ / 0-)

      like Medicare, no one is actually going to opt-out

      Unlike Snowe's fraudlent "trigger" option, opt-out is essentially just a way to let certain parties huff & puff, and then quietly let the whole matter drop.  The exact same thing happened with Medicare.  And, just like the stimulus, the one who are howling loudest against it will be the first to take credit once their constituents start experiencing the benefits...

      •  Better still, it defuses the idea that -- (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, Radical Moderate

        The evil federal government is forcing it on America's freedom loving people who just love risking bankruptcy every day of their lives should they become seriously ill. While it's possibly tragic for people who live in certain states, if that's what the majority of people in those states really want because they're willfully ignorant enough to believe the Glenn Becks of the world, then I don't know what to say.

        In reality, however, if it's well conceived in the first place, like Medicare, I don't think any politicians will be suicidal enough to actually opt out.

        Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

        by LABobsterofAnaheim on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:47:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hate to say it, (4+ / 0-)

          but at some point we reach the place where Reagan was kind of right: If your fellow state residents are too damn dumb to vote for their own welfare over that of the corporate lords, maybe it's time to vote with your feet. I've about had it with being hobbled at every step because idiots might spoil it.

          Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

          by DaveW on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:54:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. Jindal. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Radical Moderate

        I wonder if he's going to do his thing and refuse to accept it only to tour the state taking credit for it.

        You are entitled to express your opinion, but you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:48:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Read Caper's comments closely... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, jj32, Losty
    ... he's talking about a freaking Co-Op:

    "I think at the end of the day there will be a national plan probably put together not by the federal government but by a non-profit board with some seed money from the federal government that states would initially participate in because of lack of affordability. The question is should there be an opportunity for states to opt out later on and if so, within a year, within two years, within three years?"

    That's not The Public Option.  "Seed money"?  That's a Co-Op.  "Lack of affordability"?  Co-Op.

    Unless he's an idiot (which is entirely possible) and chosing his words poorly, he's not talking about a Public Plan we're talking about.

    And if Harry is headed down that road, we have issues.

    On the other hand, it's hard to imagine Baucus getting cheesed about a Co-Op.  That was his buddy Conrad's baby.

    So folks might want to check with Caper to see what in the hell he's really talking about.


  •  The Opt-out idea is just bizarre to me . . . (7+ / 0-)

    If there are states dumb enough to do that to their own people, I'd suggest they just go Full Galt and declare independence.

    Anybody ideologically pure enough to reject the notion of a public option for people with no other insurance really don't belong in a First World nation anyway.

  •  seeing is believing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear, abarrenfuture

    <holding breath>

    "If you are against it, then get out of the way. Just get out of the way." - Rep Alan Grayson.

    by ssentamu on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:36:45 PM PDT

  •  If it causes Sen. Baucus's head to explode (9+ / 0-)

    It's GOT to be good!

    Umm, that's PRESIDENT Obama and SENATOR Franken, mr. o'reilly.

    by filby on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:37:17 PM PDT

  •  Woo-Hoo! nt (4+ / 0-)

    So, what if I really did just just have sex with a rainbow inside a bag of Skittles?

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:37:26 PM PDT

  •  Interesting, so the opt out would only (8+ / 0-)

    be after a year or two, and not before the PO goes into effect? That certainly reduces the number of states that would actually opt out.

  •  Paging Nelson Munz. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrymir, pgm 01, Matt Z

    You have an appointment with Senator Baucus, asap!

    Note to Tea-baggers: Crazy isn't a valid counter-argument!

    by kefauver on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:37:54 PM PDT

  •  Good! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, SteelerGrrl

    Because that's exactly how Baucus makes me.

  •  I'll believe it when I see it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, sherlyle, DC Scott

    Reid's on thin ice here.

    I am glad to see Baucus get kicked in the nuts by the P.O., though.

    "Here we go." President Barack Obama, 1/22/09

    by cybrestrike on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:38:03 PM PDT

  •  Here's how it went: (19+ / 0-)

    Baucus: But what can I say to my insurance buddies? Christ almighty I've collected God knows how many gazillions in campaign cash this session. They were counting on me!

    Reid: Well we have to come up with something that will protect your position...

    Baucus: AND keep those contributions coming in.

    Reid: Maybe we should say you're "mad."  That sounds good, huh?

    Baucus: No, No, "mad" doesn't cut it.  Do you have a thesaurus handy?

    Reid: Here ya go.

    Baucus: "OK-lemmeee see here --mad, "Furious?" Nahh.... here we go ! "APOPLECTIC" Yeah, that'sll work!

    Reid: "Apoplectic?" Like your head'll explode or something?"

    Baucus: Yeah, like I'm DEFCON ONE!

    Reid: Oh that's a good one. Give the ABC reporter that one.

  •  heh (0+ / 0-)

    and i hadn't voted in kos's harry reid poll. just did...

  •  This Sounds Like Good News, But... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, sherlyle, Matt Z, polar bear

    This is no time to slack up.

    The opposition may get fired up and start fighting back and like dinosaurs going down into the tar pit, they will slash and tear and grab anything within reach to take down with them.

    Now is the time to pour on the coals.  

    Any whip count on the Senate that indicates who might be amenable to more reinforcement, encouragement or persuasion?

    We could concentrate our energies better if we knew which 5 or 6 senators were the best to focus on.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:38:30 PM PDT

  •  This is key... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LouisMartin, DC Scott, math4barack

    -that it would be a national plan that states could only opt out of a year or two after implementation-

    The public option must FIRST be implemented and only after it has has some reasonable period of time to calibrate its affect - then states can 'opt out'.  And the opt-out has to be tied to a popular referendum, not the whim of some whack-job governor.

    Also, the rates need to be tied to medicare and not negotiated.  I would be in favor of having a sliding scale so that rural areas get a bigger percentage than urban areas.

    "In fact, [the Republicans] understand that if Barack Obama has a BLT sandwich tomorrow for lunch, they will try to ban bacon." - Congressman Alan Grayson

    by RichM on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:38:51 PM PDT

  •  Yabut, Ask fols this... (0+ / 0-)

    Do you favor a public option if it means mandatory public kitten punching?

    Then you'll see how much suport the pu8lic option really has.

    I will not speak with disrespect of the Republican Party. I always speak with respect of the past. -Woodrow Wilson

    by Gangster Octopus on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:39:01 PM PDT

  •  New Poll question (13+ / 0-)

    If voting for Mary Landrieu would bring on a nuclear holocaust, would you vote for her?

    Makes as much sense as her question


    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:39:11 PM PDT

  •  Watch Landrieu's False Construct - (6+ / 0-)

    She said -

    s recently as this morning, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for one, dismissed recent polls that show public support for the idea, telling NPR, "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no."

    But Mary, the fact is that a public option will help reduce the deficit over time, not force the government to go bankrupt.

    Why the Republican meme, Senator Landrieu?

    You are either for us - for a public option - or against us, Senator.

    Which is it then?

  •  Man, if we can't even get 60 for a cloture vote, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherlyle, DC Scott, Losty, abarrenfuture

    we might as well disband the party.

    I try to tell myself that a Democrat won't actually side with a republican filibuster and prevent an up-or-down vote on this, but I given our dysfunctional caucus, I can easily imagine it.

    "I told them on Inauguration Day. I said look into my eyes: no new enhancements." - President Johnny Gentle (Famous Crooner) - Infinite Jest

    by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:39:45 PM PDT

  •  Senator Baucus (Coward - Montana) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Senator Landrieu (Coward - Louisiana)

    Stop calling these cowards Democrats. They give the party a bad name. And I don't think Baucus could spell "apopleptic" without a generous donation from Pfeizer. What a wanker.

    I'm a Puntheist. If your religion doesn't make you laugh out loud at least once a week you may have picked the wrong one.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:39:49 PM PDT

  •  As a purist, I don't think the life and health (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LouisMartin, polar bear

    of any American citizen in any of our 50 states ought to be used as a political football. As a realist, if the state opt-out provision was the least bad compromise to get Conservadems like Contrad, Baucus and Bayh to agree to cloture, then let's do it. Who will have the last laugh when all 50 states choose to opt in?  The teabaggers are nothing if not hypocritical; when they're underemployed with no insurance and need to see a doctor, I can imagine how many of them will call their assemblyman in Boise and say, "remember that stuff I said in 2009 about socialized medicine?  I've been reconsidering that, and..."

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:39:58 PM PDT

  •  can't waity to see the politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at the state level if the opt-out passes.....

  •  Poor Mad Max (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patricia Taylor, sherlyle

    All the lovely lobbying money about to dry up.  So sad.

    respice adspice prospice

    by Steven Payne on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:40:42 PM PDT

  •  Good for Harry if he does it (0+ / 0-)

    but in all honesty I'm having a hard time getting worked up about the public option anymore since none of the public options seem remotely close to being robust.

    On top of that, if the Dems go ahead and call a weak PO "Medicare for All" it will only serve to make true "Medicare for All" harder to achieve.

    -6.75,-3.85 Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck.

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:40:44 PM PDT

  •  How would the opt-out work? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patricia Taylor, pgm 01

    I've heard several possibilities:

    1. Governor's decree
    1. Public referendum
    1. State legislative vote

    Of the three, #2 seems like the most reasonable way to go. If the ones actually benefitting from, and effected by the policy REALLY hate it that much, and REALLY want out of it, fine.

    "When even Arlen Specter is asking why the Dems got him to be their 60th Senator if they weren't gonna use the 60 votes, you know something's wrong!" --nyceve

    by Brainwrap on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:41:40 PM PDT

  •  "Baucus went to defcon 1" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishBiscuit, math4barack, polar bear

    that's just funny.

    here's hoping the PO gets in there.

  •  So let Baucus and Landrieu become republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they're paid for anyway.

    A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

    by tazz on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:42:14 PM PDT

  •  if opt out is part of the bill (0+ / 0-)

    I betcha we'll see some big talking "no" states choosing to opt in after all. I guess a strong PO with the Wyden amendment and the antitrust bill passed, opt out wouldn't be too harsh, because (as I said) I suspect that rebel states will opt in over time

  •  Sorry... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ..Conservadems, Zeitgeist is on the side of the public option.

    Either get with the times, join the Republicans in their jerk-off room, or STFU & jump on the plane & take an early Thanksgiving vacation.

    I'm sick of idiots like Baucus & Mary Landrieu trying to play this thing out as if they are volunteers for the Reagan campaign.

    To all wingnuts who want to make the Bible "less liberal," please check Deuteronomy 4:2 before you go there.

    by wyvern on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:42:29 PM PDT

  •  Sorry Max, turns out that apoplexy (9+ / 0-)

    is a pre-existing condition.

    "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of blue." Fucking genius, Keith.

    by jazzmaniac on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:43:11 PM PDT

  •  The "apoplectic" part (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, chikindolfin, polar bear, JC from IA

    really doesn't ring true. Why would Baucus be that emotionally tied to something he said he opposed because it didn't have the votes? Yeah, I understand the ego thing, but this DEFCON drama smells of bullshit. In the stultifyingly collegial Senate, would Baucus really go openly ballistic against his own leader? I doubt it.

    I want to believe the rest of the story, but the dramatics makes me wonder if there's anything to it at all. Here's hoping the core of it is right. The PO absolutely needs to be in Reid's bill.

    Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

    by DaveW on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:43:13 PM PDT

  •  Senator Baucus, Bust Your Aorta (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All-powerful Senate Finance Chairman is having a bad day! It's hard being a wholly owned lackey of the health insurance lobby!

    May your blood pressure hit 250 over 180 and your eyeballs bleed. You little yapping industry lap dog. Woof! Now STFU at long last.

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:43:49 PM PDT

  •  Baucus can go hide in a closet (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from his screaming industry supporters, and admire his own reflection in the door mirror until it's time to vote.

    Useless asshat that he is.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:44:05 PM PDT

  •  Key is requiring no Democratic filibuster votes. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, pgm 01, RustyCannon, Losty

    They can vote against the final bill, they can vote for amendments but no Democrat can vote for a filibuster.

    That is the key. At that point it becomes a 50 vote bill with Biden breaking the tie.

    Why anyone cares what Snowe thinks or does is just crazy.

  •  on a side note....Hannity is 'apoplectic' aboot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happynz, Losty, JC from IA

    the gop section for upstate new york. In Coastal North Carolina you get 'All Wingnut..All the Time".

  •  I Don't Trust Harry Reid, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pgm 01, RustyCannon, Losty, skillet

    but if Senator Health Insurance Industry *itch Baucus is pi$$ed, it can't be all bad!

    Dems, get some guts, or we'll KICK YER BUTTS!

    by CityLightsLover on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:45:00 PM PDT

  •  Landrieu: "If you asked, do you want a public (13+ / 0-)

    option that would kill your dog, wreck your car and cause giant ants to crush your house, people would say no."

    She lost what little respect I had left for her right there.

  •  How will Baucus ever explain this to hiscorporate (4+ / 0-)


    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - FDR. Obama Nation. -6.13 -6.15

    by ecostar on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:45:37 PM PDT

  •  Didn't bauccus... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...when criticized over his handling of HCR come right out and say he WANTED the public option?

    Don't tell me he was lying?  Really?  I'm so disillusioned.

    You are entitled to express your opinion, but you are NOT entitled to agreement.

    by DawnG on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:46:13 PM PDT

  •  ok, that's it! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've had ENOUGH of that Landrieu!!

    please, please, please...
    someone explain to me how she is a Democrat??

    I called her office when she made the "people hear public option, and think it's free health care" comment. As a taxpayer, I'm sick of paying for HER health care!

    123 Americans will die today because they don't have health insurance!

    by ridemybike on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:46:43 PM PDT

  •  From Politico--WH meeting today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RustyCannon, Losty, math4barack

    Senate Democratic leadership is heading to a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House at 5 p.m. Thursday. Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Schumer of New York and Patty Murray of Washington will join Reid for the meeting.

    Now is the time for Obama to step up!!


  •  This idea of "leaving it up to the states" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, BruinKid

    cuts both ways, IMO.  Allowing individual states to opt out of a strong PO may seem like it gives the states undue power, but it also dumps the problem of pissing off voters neatly into the state politicians' lap.

    I rather imagine that, given the choice, the state pols would rather forgo this honor.

  •  I thought I recalled... (0+ / 0-)

    reading somewhere that Snowe was 'open' to the opt out provision for states.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Trying to ascertain every Senator's position on the p.o. and its variations hasn't been easy.

  •  Horrible as it is, an opt-out is actually (0+ / 0-)

    a very politically savvy move.

    Consider: A strong public option will work - empirical data suggests it. So, we have a functioning insurance, open to all in states that choose not to opt out. And not even the insurance industry can lobby that many assemblies at once.

    So, some states will opt out. But when it becomes clear that the public option is an advantage, popular pressure will force them to change their position. Furthermore, such an approach pits industry against industry: Businesses, who have an interest to pay less in healthcare costs, which are becoming unbearable, will move to the states which did not opt out. Introducing the public option in obstinate states may become an economic imperative as well.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:47:56 PM PDT

  •  Call Nevada (4+ / 0-)

    Seriously, call Nevada and get Reid's own constituents to put on the pressure.

    You can call until 9pm Pacific time tonight and start up again at 9am PT tomorrow. We have to keep this up until a public option passes through the senate.

    Go to this link to start making calls.

  •  I bet Baucus is hoping his Insurance overlords (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scribeboy, math4barack, gereiztkind

    wont punish him too harshly after he reluctantly votes for cloture... because he will be able to reserve a no vote on the final bill, and was apoplectic...

    That has been his strategy all along - how to avoid punishment - this is his way out in his own  DEMENTED MIND.

  •  Yes, yes, yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm tired of evil winning...whether it's Cheney or Bush or whether it's the bully down the street. They all need to be stopped--AT ALL COST.

    by pantherq on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:52:17 PM PDT

  •  I'll wait to see if Reid does his usual about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    face, but as reported this is positive news and is where the Senate has needed to be for a long time.  Snowe is threatening to walk, but I don't know how much of that is just posturing to protect her right flank.  Obama seems to have weighed in on this one, otherwise Reid wouldn't be contemplating it.  

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:52:40 PM PDT

  •  opt out is total BS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fitzov rules, wsexson

    So, great, now the health care reform debate gets to spread out to every state in the country.

    We apparently have nothing better to do with our time than argue about healthcare reform - forever.

    The states, whose roads are crumbling, schools failing, budgets collapsing, could just so use yet ANOTHER can of worms being dumped on their heads in the form of debate about health care reform and the public option.

    Meanwhile, our planet is melting, we have TWO wars now we can't seem to figure out how to end, our entire financial system is up in FLAMES, Americans are losing their jobs and their homes by the thousands every day... etc., etc., etc.  But champions of the "opt out" option want Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi and President Obama - to continue to spend their time running around to the states to put out fires and try to explain and justify for the zillionth time the value of the public option. They want President Obama to overlook and back pedal on OTHER important issues because he is just too damn busy with STILL defending the public option to some Red State nitwits.

    And, oh, and wouldn't we all LOVE to be able to keep donating money to Dr. Dean and Act Blue, and NYCEve, etc. to set up anti-Opt Out committees in all the Red States. It will be a veritable cottage industry perhaps for years to come. What an excellent use of our time and resources.

    And I for one am especially looking forward to the continuing flood of diaries at DKos from people in the Red States complaining about the mean Rethugs who won't chose the public option, and please donate and call this number and write to this address in support, etc., etc. We have nothing else to discuss here any way, right?

    I thought the whole point of the health care reform debate is that we need to level the playing field for ALL, not just those lucky enough to be living in the Blue states, and that we need to quit spending so much money on health care in this country (including the debate about it!)

    •  Mostly, I agree. (0+ / 0-)

      It is BS. I think that if we indeed have a right to healthcare, then we should all have it, regardless of which state we live in. Even if there is an opt-out, however, you would still have the option of moving to another state. It's much easier than moving to another country.

      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

      by fitzov rules on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:11:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love the idea of opt out after 2 years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrymir, GN1927

    this is fantastic. By then, it will be political suicide to opt out.  Perfect.

    I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

    by decembersue on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:54:32 PM PDT

    •  It will put all the GOPer Govs on the hotseat. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decembersue, GN1927, Losty

      Like Jindal down in LA. Or Barbour in Miss. And this could be the issue that moves Texas and Florida into the Dem column for a generation, too. The politics of this proposal could be very, very entertaining.

      -6.38/-3.79::'A man is incapable of comprehending any argument that interferes with his revenues.' Descartes

      by skrymir on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:58:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So which Dems will support a GOP filibuster? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lieberman? Baucus? Conrad? Landrieu? Lincoln? Bayh? B. Nelson?

    Every one of these Senators has made noises like they will adamantly oppose a public option. Threatening their committee chairmanships will keep Baucus and Lieberman in line, but Ben Nelson, Bayh, and Lincoln sound pretty hardcore. Who, or what, is going to keep these conservadems in line for a cloture vote? It wouldn't surprise me to see Lincoln and Landrieu switch parties - their states are blood red. And Bayh has just been an all-around assh**e ever since his presidential bid was roundly rejected by progressives, so he's a real wildcard.

    -6.38/-3.79::'A man is incapable of comprehending any argument that interferes with his revenues.' Descartes

    by skrymir on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:54:50 PM PDT

    •  b. nelson frequently sided with GOP on cloture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      votes during the democratic filibusters of certain bush judicial nominees.

      i see no reason why he'd hestitate to side with them on any health care cloture votes.

      "I don't think they're going to be any more successful in 2010" -Yes On 8 co-manager

      by jethropalerobber on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:02:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Baucus is the problem. TPM has the story. (5+ / 0-)

    Apparently, he tried to kill this trial balloon today but it hasn't popped.

    Hopefully, the White House will get behind this and we'll get the public option with an opt-out along a party line vote.

    "It came out at last night's meeting--it was indicated that based on some surveying that had been done of the moderates, that id doesn't so far seem like they would jump out of their skin as long as they have an opportunity to vote to strip it."

    This, apparently, didn't sit well with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who is determined to keep Sen. Olympia Snowe's vote.

    "Baucus met with moderates this morning and got them nervous." Or tried at least. Snowe clearly laid down her mark. And Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) didn't seem particularly pleased. But of all the Senate's conservative Democrats, none have yet rebelled.

  •  Transcript of Baucus and Reid conversation: (11+ / 0-)

    REID: Max, I'm including a public option in the Senate version of the bill.

    BAUCUS: Heh-heh, funny, Harry. Are we still going for a drink this evening?

    REID: I'm serious, Max.

    BAUCUS: Get the fuck outta' here!

    REID:  The House is including one, and I--

    BAUCUS: What the fuck, Harry???

    REID: Well, Max, I--

    BAUCUS: But I promised the insurance companies that this was a done deal!

    REID: Well, I--

    BAUCUS: I told them the fucking thing was dead! Kaput! Gone! Deceased! As good as buried!

    REID: I know, Max, but--

    BAUCUS: Godfuckingdamn it, Harry! These people were counting on me!!! You little son of a bitch!

    [BAUCUS prepares to take a swing at REID]

    REID: I was a boxer, you know, Max!

    BAUCUS: Oh, yeah? Well this is from the insurance industry!!!!!

    [BAUCUS and REID tumble to floor]

  •  I am tired of Reid "leaning" this way or that (0+ / 0-)

    I just want to complete his leaning by pushing him down the Black Hole that he richly deserves to sink into!

    -7.75,-5.64 "American health care system isn't really a system. If you just let things happen, it'll be like the United States" - Taiwanese health official

    by Whirlaway on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:57:06 PM PDT

  •  WTF is wrong is Baucus?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, math4barack

    Has he just been pretending to support the public option, and then only when it suits him?

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:58:12 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like (0+ / 0-)

    we just need to keep whipping them until they go in the right direction.

    The best way to reduce health insurance cost is to take the profit out of it.

    by RustyCannon on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:58:16 PM PDT

  •  When will liberals learn the art of propaganda (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know its a scary word, but thats how this is won.

    Some staffer puts this out there, it is our job to spin this.

    Make so either Nelson and Landrieu need to call Reed a liar, or face the nation and join the republicans.

    We also need some rhetoric out there for punishment for Senators that want to betray the party and president.

  •  but of course Landrieu had no trouble voting... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scribeboy, Losty

    for the 2001 bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the iraq war which really did "bankrupt" the government, so to speak.

    "I don't think they're going to be any more successful in 2010" -Yes On 8 co-manager

    by jethropalerobber on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 01:58:50 PM PDT

  •  And Im thinking of changing my vote on the job (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid is doing in the DKOS poll.

    This is just to say Forgive us victory tastes delicious so sweet and so cold

    by Dave the Wave on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:01:48 PM PDT

  •  A trial balloon? (0+ / 0-)

    If this is a trial balloon, it's one that ought to be brought in for a landing.  

    I really don't get the reluctance to implement Medicare Part E.  A majority of the country is in favor of it and the CBO has called it deficit neutral.  

    What the hell is there to discuss other than the loss of campaign bribes from the insurance industry to the coffers of Landrieu, Liebermann, Baucus, Snowed, etc.?

    Grayson is dead right:  Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.  

  •  Excuse me, but I was assured... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, brklyngrl, GlowNZ, JClarkPDX

    repeatedly and endlessly that the Public Option was DEAD DEAD DEAD and that Obama was throwing us under the bus, and that nobody had any spine and health care reform wasn't going to happen...

  •  amazing how things that bankrupt the gov... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, Losty, JClarkPDX

    ...get better CBO scores.

    how does that work exactly, mary?

    "I don't think they're going to be any more successful in 2010" -Yes On 8 co-manager

    by jethropalerobber on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:03:27 PM PDT

  •  Apoplectypse now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polar bear

    Good news.

    Denial is complicity.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:04:21 PM PDT

  •  What are the advantages of opt-out? (0+ / 0-)

    There is an assumption that a national public plan would hurt some states economically, but how? Rather than the premiums going to an insurance company they would go to the federal pot, right? Maybe they are considering that people who would most benefit from a public plan (i.e. lower income families that cannot afford health care) would otherwise spend their money on goods in the state that are taxed.

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

    by fitzov rules on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:04:44 PM PDT

  •  Can we have a war opt-out? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, polar bear, missississy, angstall

    "[Obama's humble approach] could... make [people] feel like the government is an environment in which they might actually want to participate." - Ian MacKaye

    by indiemcemopants on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:05:31 PM PDT

  •  The patented 'Reid Walk-Back' (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L, Blutodog, sacrelicious, poxonyou

    The favorite dance at AHIP parties.  What does this make, about 20 times we've seen good news about Reid, and within hours if not minutes, the obligatory 'not so fast' 'clarification'?  Pretty tiresome.

    Andrew Mellon & GOP: 'In a Depression, assets return to their rightful owners'

    by Tuffie on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:06:41 PM PDT

  •  May be displaying some naivete here, but (0+ / 0-)

    what would the opt-out process look like?  Would there be a state-wide vote? Would it be the choice of the legislatures?  Would the governor make the decision?

    The answers to these questions could be very important.

    Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor. - Robert Heinlein, "Time Enough For Love"

    by Ballgame9 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:07:42 PM PDT

  •  the only thing we know for sure (6+ / 0-)

    is that there is no child inside this balloon.

    the rest is pure speculation.

    Laughter is a force for democracy - John Cleese

    by GlowNZ on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:08:19 PM PDT

  •  Everyone call your Senator and talk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zeke L

    about the baby the insurance company wouldn't cover because it was too small and the baby they wouldn't cover because it was too fat.

    Ask them how they can defend these insurance companies. It's beyond ridiculous.

    Tell them they had better vote for a public option or we are revolting.

  •  Update--Weak "Reid" and "leaning" toward PO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Harry Reid is a cliche--"weak reed". This guy should NOT be majority leader in Senate!

    It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. Jimmy Carter

    by coral on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:11:42 PM PDT

  •  How will the "Opt Out" work? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Public referendum state by state, state house of representatives or will president snowe just decide on a state by state basis?

    "Let's remember, we should care about people even after they are born." Representative Alan Grayson

    by irate on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:13:11 PM PDT

  •  How many honest, hardworking Americans have (0+ / 0-)

    been "apoplectic" when they get denied legitimate insurance coverage for claims or decide whether to declare bankruptcy so they can literally survive? I hope Baucus is fricking 'apoplectic' and all those who stand in the way of meaningful reform!

    Progressives are liberals who DO SOMETHING about it.

    by angstall on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:14:37 PM PDT

  •  Force the gov't into bankruptcy??!! WTF? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What the hell is Landrieu on about?  I have another version:"Yes, the people support the PO, but I still think we can scare them out of it."

    They might also say no if you ask them if they would support a PO if it would give them the heartbreak of psoriasis, or pimples.  This is beyond the pale.

    Where the brook puts out of the roots of the old tree and flows to the meadow

    by peterborocanuck on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:16:05 PM PDT

  •  God... Landrieu... (0+ / 0-)

    Mental note: never, ever give money to the DSCC as long as toads like this person consider themselves "Democrats" and go out of their way to publicly spread lies to undermine our Democratic President and his oft-repeated policy goals.

    y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

    by gatorbot on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:19:52 PM PDT

  •  Quit lying ABC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He does not need 60 votes to pass anything. He needs 60 to have a vote.

    Hey republicans block reform. I dare you. It would be the end of you as a party outside the racist southern states.

  •  This news is good news (0+ / 0-)

    even if it is not entirely accurate.  If the public gets the sense that a public option will be in the final bill, the public that supports it by a strong majority, it will be harder to not include it.  Sort of psychological ju-jitsu.

  •  Baucus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, missississy

    apoplectic, you say? Marvelous. That can only mean something good for the citizenry. And, likely something not so good for thr insurance business.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:27:41 PM PDT

  •  ABC News just reported that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, polar bear

    "key" Democratic leaders were called to a hastily called meeting at the White House to discuss health care developments.

    We'll see what unfolds....

    "But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? " 1 John 3:17

    by mirandasright on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:27:43 PM PDT

  •  Hopefully Snowe votes no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That will weaken the Senate's hand in conference.

  •  Art of War: Know Your Enemy, Ours is Baucus! (0+ / 0-)

    Man-servant of his insurance industry masters.

  •  Keep Landrieu's comment handy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, polar bear

    Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for one, dismissed recent polls that show public support for the idea, telling NPR, "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no."

    Keep it warm and cozy. The next time she's questioned by anybody, she must be asked

    1. What she means, precisely, by "force the government to go bankrupt."
    1. For almost any answer, the next question is "Do you favour (fill in the blank - the war in Afghanistan, energy costs when oil is the energy source, etc.) if it would force the government to go bankrupt?"
    1. Grab the popcorn.
    1. Lather, rinse, repeat...

    Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

    by SciMathGuy on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:32:42 PM PDT

  •  How foolish of you, Mary! (0+ / 0-)
    Interesting comments from Mary Landrieu.  Not very bright but interesting.  Senators like Landrieu apparently thinks we're all going to forgive and forget if they sabotage health reform.  How foolish of them!

    There are literally thousands of people watching and waiting.  And we're taking names.

  •  All tests and trial ballons (0+ / 0-)

    I think a public option will be included in the bill. simply what kind. I don't get excited one way or the other on vague statements. Reid isn't going to commmit 100% to anything if he's not sure he can get it through.

  •  Baucus doesn't want the public option? (4+ / 0-)

    Amazing coincidence, because the public doesn't want the Baucus option.

    Fight 'em 'til Hell freezes over, and then fight 'em on the ice. - David Van Os

    by sagra on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 02:54:45 PM PDT

  •  Mary Landreiux just doesn't get it. (0+ / 0-)

    "I think when people hear ‘public option’ they hear ‘free health care.’ Everybody wants free health care. Everybody wants health care they don’t have to pay for."

    "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no."

    Yea, and if you asked people if they would still be in favor of the Public Option if it meant someone would run over their cat with a lawnmower, they would say no to that too!
    But that's not relevant either.  
    The bill is revenue neutral, it does not add to the debt.  (I wish Rep. Grayson would ask her if she knows what 'revenue neutral' means.)

  •  Baucus' office says he is for a public option. (0+ / 0-)
    They say go look at Howard Dean's website if you don't believe them..

    I said, why would I look at Howard Dean's website I was talking to Baucus' office directly and they said well no one seems to believe what comes out of a congressional office.


  •  Have a Trigger for the Opt Out.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the Snowe Trigger.

    Yes We DID!!!!!!! Now back to work!

    by InquisitiveRaven on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:10:44 PM PDT

  •  Same back and forth contradictory msgs (0+ / 0-)

    This is getting so tiresome.

    The headline for this needs to change since he's walked back on that.

    "He has not concluded anything yet," the aide said of Reid. "But he is more optimistic."

    Interestingly, though, the aide endorsed Kent Conrad’s claim today that "the direction of the conversation" is towards putting the public option in the final bill.

    "He is correct," the aide said of Conrad. "That is where we maybe, again maybe, are headed."

    The most positive way to read this clarification is there is still a chance some form of the public option will be there, but not specifically which one. I am still doubtful the state opt-out will make it. It has serious flaws, but it's always something I imagine the health care industry not liking at all. If they do, well, there's a reason for that and it's not good for us.

    "All [US govt model based countries], without exception, have succumbed to the nightmare [of breakdown] one time or another, often repeatedly." - Bruce Ackerman

    by PoxOnYou on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:13:23 PM PDT

    •  The msg that confuses me... (0+ / 0-)

      ... is that  IF  the puplic option is not already a given.. what exactly are they proposing to spend $900,000,000,000 on, over the next ten years ?!

      Heck.. that's enough to buy a $250/month private insurance policy for 30,000,000 people over the same ten years !

      With the buying power of a 30,000,000 pool.. surely $1,200 per month per family of four, would get them pretty decent coverage.. ?

      And further.. the money Obama claims he can save by cleaning up Medicare will pay for  60% of this..  So the REAL cost for getting those 30,000,000 decent insurance would only be about $300,000,000,000 over the next ten years.

      Of course it's not that simple.. but it illustrates just how contaminated with politicall BS (both sides) this debate has become. I don't trust EITHER party's current players to be handling something this big and important..  

  •  Funny how certain "Democrats" will vote for war (3+ / 0-)

    that isn't needed, to the tune of 1 Trillion dollars, but when it comes time to spending that kind of cash on their own constituents, they suddenly become worried about money.

    "Give me a water board, Dick Cheney, and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders." -Jesse Ventura

    by Beelzebud on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:26:16 PM PDT

  •  I guess Landrieu has a new definition (0+ / 0-)
    For the word bankrupt.  

    I feel sorry for those of you in LA.   Your Senators are literally clueless.

    "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

    by justmy2 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 03:36:44 PM PDT

  •  "Cannot pass the Senate," Sen. Baucus? (0+ / 0-)

    I increasingly realize that that phrase, when it comes out of the mouth of a sitting Senator, really means "I don't want it to pass the Senate."

  •  It may have been Baucus pushing back. (0+ / 0-)

    Watch ABC's reporting   (4.00 / 5)
    I used to work at ABC and I know some of the people working with Jon Karl on this story.

    Baucus' staff is trying to walk back Reid and ABC is reporting them simply as "Senate staffers"

  •  Harry Ried's decision barometer (0+ / 0-)

    How poor bills can a senate majority leader lay down,
    Before he has to actually take a stand?
    And how many different amendments must be added,
    Before he can stop yielding to the Moderates' demands?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin with the wind,
    The answer is blowin with the wind.

    "...what Washington means by bipartisanship is mainly that everyone should come together to give conservatives what they want." --- Paul Krugman

    by puppet10 on Thu Oct 22, 2009 at 04:13:03 PM PDT

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