days of secret talks, Senate Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday night to drop a full-blown government-run insurance option from sweeping health care legislation, several officials said, a concession to party moderates whose votes are critical to passage of President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
In its place, officials said Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage, with the possibility of greater ...
In fact, this is all a mirage. It's a great big con being perpetrated by Harry Reid to create an air of inevitability when in reality nothing is settled. In fact, Russ Feingold has stated unequivocally that he will NOT agree to any deal that doesn't include a public option. Meanwhile, Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu are insistent they won't sign onto anything that has the public option.
I know there's no deal for several reasons. First, Harry Reid isn't that good. He couldn't possibly make a deal this quickly. Second, there's no details. What exactly is this option? How will it work? Third, the presser included Harry Reid. It didn't include everyone that would presumably sign onto a deal. Ben Nelson didn't get his abortion amendment but now he's signing onto this deal. That's not happening.
In fact, the only thing anyone agreed to was to send Reid's proposal to the CBO to score. No one has agreed to stop negotiating. Reid is pulling a big con. He wants everyone to believe there's a deal. That way the narrative becomes an air of inevitability. Then, legislators will feel obligated to go along.
It won't work. There is no deal. No one has decided anything. Joe Lieberman is worried about cost. Yet, this will allow anyone 55 and older to begin receiving Medicare benefits. How does that contain costs? Has Joe Lieberman said he's on board? I haven't heard it. Have the liberals said they're on board to a bill without a public option? I haven't heard it. Has Roland Burris said he'd drop his filibuster threat on this bill? Remember, he said he'd support a filibuster of any bill that doesn't include a public option. I haven't heard it.
It appears that we have a deal because Harry Reid said so. If you believe that, you also believe you can beat the casino in blackjack.