First I want to say that I had an incredible time at Netroots Nation. What a treat to see so many in the liberal blogosphere gather to discuss health care and virtually every other issue we face. Kudos to all the politicians who showed up to represent their positions as well.
Anyway, a huge topic that was raging through the weekend was the state of the 'public option.' Since the Baucus Dogs haven't finished their bill we still don't have the goods to really make any sense of what the House of Lords is going to put forth. We do have the Senate HELP committee bill, but the Baucus Dogs are trying to muck up the works by stalling the process and trying to empower the teabaggers. Any member of Congress that is affected by the lunatic fringe appearing at these events should resign immediately.
I was talking to Digby at length about it over the weekend and she said she had a meeting with Mike Lux and he laid out a possible scenario to her that could come to pass even if Grassley, Bayh, Conrad, Baucus, Nelson and the rest of the paid off shills of the health insurance industry come out with a bill that doesn't have a 'public option.'
He later wrote about it in his piece: The News of Its Death Is Greatly Exaggerated
Here are a couple of possibilities for getting a bill passed:
A. The first is that conservative Senators are given a fig leaf compromise on the public option, so that they can say to people they forced a compromise, and then are brought over with all kinds of other incentives that make them more comfortable with the bigger bill.
B. The second is that the conference committee simply breaks the bill in half, one half being the less controversial part that everyone agrees upon, the other being the public option and the financing, both of which can go through the reconciliation process. Then Obama and Reid muscle the 50 votes they need for support.
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