Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Public Option isn't alive, but it sure isn't dead either (VIDEO)...

Ezra was on Keith last night, basically saying that the Public Option isn't as alive as a lot of my fellow Liberals would hope, because of various Hill Aides fearing that its inclusion will seem too partisan, at a time when the Democrats seem to be bending over backwards to seem bipartisan.

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Laurence O'Donnell agreed.

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I respectfully disagree.

The Public Option isn't as alive as people think.

Nor, is it as dead as people think (hope) either.

I remember, right as the Senate Bill was being debate Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) coming on MSNBC, and saying that its passage means that Health Care goes from being a every 20 year debate, to an every year debate.

I think this analysis still holds. Once the House passes the Senate Bill (Plan B - which I think they're going to do at the end of the month), the fixes they want will be passed through Reconciliation.

In fact, their fixes and a whole bunch of others will be passed through Reconciliation.

Why couldn't one of those fixes be the Public Option?

Odds are, it will...but the question is when. And that's another area where I disagree with Erza and Laurence. I don't think this is the White House trying to pawn it off on Harry Reid, and vice versa. Part of this is them keeping the issue alive for the February 25th Conference, so that the Senate Bill isn't the most leftward idea in the room. But a lot of this wanting the Public Option fight later. Pass Health Care Reform for signing. Pass a Jobs Bill. Have the fights for Progressive stuff in time for Campaign Season.

I'm one of those people who believe that Politicians always tell the truth when they speak, a very parsed and precise (lawyerly) truth.

When Harry says he'll fight for the Public Option through Senate procedures, I believe him. Of course, he doesn't say he'll succeed or that he has the votes. When the White House says they'll fight for it if the Senate Leadership is for it, that's true also. Of course, they didn't say when they'll fight for it. That's the trick.

I think that before President Obama's first term is up, the Public Option will be passed into law...somehow. I guess the question I have for my fellow Liberals is, does it have to be now in order to be valued by our side. What if it's 2011 or 2012? This President believes in timing. I think he wants to have certain fights at certain times. I think he likes to go public with certain fights at certain times. I think the Public Option fight is scheduled, it's just not when you think its gonna happen...