Senator Max Bauchus chairs the Senate Finance Committee and he's sort of the head honcho for Senate healthcare reform. Both the Senate and House are working on separate drafts right now for the big healthcare "Fix" -- and then both bills will have to be reconciled, which sometimes is an impossible task. This Senate draft released today contains no "public option". They've decided on not-for-profit "co-ops" instead... which I tend to think, and I may be wrong, as a kind of public-option lite. It's one way to slowly slip in a public-like option, the idea being that in a year or two or three down the road we dems can "build" onto this foundation with the eventual goal being a public option -- or even perhaps a single-payer like England or Canada (in other words, you have to let the american public get used to the idea of government-run healthcare with a smaller strategy, co-ops, instead of ramming a british-style nationalized program down the citizenry's throats all at once. We see this strategy with gay marriage rights.... you have to go slow with americans... they need to get used to the idea that gays deserve equality... so in some states you start with domestic partnerships, then progress to civil unions, then progress to marriage -- the citizenry needs reassurances that the culture is not going to collapse or that God isn't going to burn the state in eternal hellfire). Now senate dems are threatenting not to pass this bill. The House draft contains a public option. The senate bill has no public option, but will somehow require, mandate, all americans to get insurance - with the government giving subsidies to help the less fortunate. It will be some trick getting these two bills to sync. Here's an opening paragraph in Politico titled Jay Rockefeller rips Max Baucus: ----- "Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) continued his attack on Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) health care bill, sharply questioning the chairmans decision to conduct months of bipartisan talks that failed to win a single Republican backer, while shutting out Democrats on the committee." ----- Dems have been bizarrely courting republican/conservatives in shaping these bills. The cons scream and bitch and moan about "public options" and a dozen other large and small bill details, and when the dems incorporate the conservatives ideas and amendments, when the dems take the public option off the table, these same cons still refuse to support any bill. Which brings us to the larger question... WHY are democratics bending over backward to concede the public option to cons in the first place when conservatives have absolutely no intention of voting for a bill no matter how the dems write it? The blue dog dems can be shamed and cajoled into voting for a bill with the public option. They don't want it on their shoulders that a healthcare bill has failed. This is what time it is: It's time to kick the conservatives to the curb. Period. If a bill is too watered down, even dems won't vote for it. Progressive dems are threatening to vote no on the co-ops. Progressive dems can kill this bill quicker than any duplicitous republican. The public option can provide real competition to the private for-profit health insurance industry. Co-ops can't. I think it was predictable that the bipartisan thing was not going to work. And we spent virtually an entire year with most of the Finance Committee being excluded, and a lot of us have a long history in health care and have very strong ideas and good ideas. " Rockefeller said. House democrat Anthony Weiner is calling this Baucus bill "dead on arrival." This'll be interesting to see how this all plays out. Conservatives are just going to whine "No, no, no!" to dems while offering up no solutions, just like they did with the budget proposal. That's their m.o. -- They obstruct. Cons are professional obstructionists. They'll cry in their playpens and shake their rattles (especially on talk-radio) and whine "NO". That's their whole healthcare reform. Time for dems to man-up and kick the cons to the curb. And do it right, not half-assed. Those whining bitches on Fox News like Hannity and Beck need to be made to stop feeling like they're calling the shots. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.