« Overnight Open Thread – Nom nom nom… (genghis) | Main | Taliban Attacks NATO HQ in Afghanistan; 3 Macedonian Soldiers Hurt; Up to 100 Civilians Killed »
August 16, 2009

The Beginning Of The End? Leading Senate Democrat Says Public Option Doesn't Have The Votes UPDATE: Sebelius Walks Back From Public Option

Don't get cocky but the walk back on health care may have begun.

Momentum behind a new government-run health care plan appeared to slow considerably Sunday, as a lead Democratic negotiator called the option a "wasted effort" and President Obama's health secretary suggested the White House is ready to accept a health care reform package without it.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., one of six negotiators trying to hammer out a bipartisan compromise measure on the Senate Finance Committee, told "FOX News Sunday" that the so-called public option simply does not have the votes to pass.

"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been," he said. "So to continue to chase that rabbit I think is just a wasted effort."

Yes, they can pass some elements of the package on a simple majority vote through 'reconciliation' but there are limits to what can be voted on by that process. Harry Reid and company may want to press those limits but if they succeed they will blow up the Senate and bring it to a grinding halt.

Before we get too excited keep in mind Democrats (and some of the usual suspect Republicans) can still do a lot of damage to the health care system without a public option but dropping this major provision will not only be good policy but great politics for those who don't want the government mucking things up.

Health care reform is one of those issues that a lot of people are for in the abstract. The problem is many groups have very different ideas of what is desirable in a bill and they are often contradictory.

Up until now, it's been mostly the deficit hawks and small government types objecting. Take out the public option and you start to shed liberal support. Pretty soon there's no one left supporting anything.

Also fun...the rift between the House and Senate Democrats. After walking the plank on Cap and Trade only to see the Senate walk away, House Democrats can't be too happy with their colleagues in 'the other body' for not being able to get this done, despite having 60 votes.

It's pretty amusing watching the signature issue of the Democrats become a self inflicted wedge issue. And we may even get the right policy outcome as well.

That really is Change! I can believe in.

UPDATE: Sebelius also retreated on the public option today saying it's "not the essential element" of reform. Yeah, try telling that to the nutroots (aka, Obama's base).


digg this
posted by DrewM. at 12:32 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
chavez the hugo: "416: somebody say clam pot? never mind. ..."

Muldoon: "[i]I don't know. We haven't had any survivors yet. ..."

Anon a mouse: "The media is not their to inform the public, but p ..."

Skandia Recluse: " A Washington Post version of the dismissal of Om ..."

bluebell ~ now we're cookin'!: "yeah, but does Dr. Hanson have a review by NFL sta ..."

Tom Servo: "Even the Romans called the province Judea. Immedi ..."

josephistan: " 387 Interesting that the TCM synopsis refers to ..."

Kindltot: "Oleg is a national treasure, and we are damned luc ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Booking Agent, Aero Pinochet: "411. Yep. The crab pot is a genuine social phenome ..."

Northernlurker : "Perhaps future generations of Republicans will be ..."

Anon a mouse: " Accuse everyone challenging the status quo in DC ..."

bluebell ~ now we're cookin'!: "*sheepishly raises hand* I have likely contrib ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64