I hope these words don't come back to bite me in the ass in a couple months, but, to all of those folks following the chess pieces on the board, today was an extremely optimistic day regarding the inclusion of a public option in a final healthcare bill. Reid is working - behind closed doors - with Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, Max Bauchus and some republican to meld, or reconcile, two Senate bills (one with a public option, one without). Pelosi is working to reconcile three House bills. Once you have one Senate and one House bill, those two are melded together, then sent to Obama for his John Hancock. From ABC News: Public Option: It's Back October 22, 2009 The public option. The idea was believed to be dead. Liberals wanted it, but Senate vote counters insisted it simply could not pass the Senate. The dynamic, however, has changed. The public option may be back from dead. I am told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leaning toward including the creation of a new government-run insurance program – the so-called public option – in the health care reform bill he will bring to the full Senate in the coming weeks. Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option. Reid needs 60 votes to pass a health care bill and there are simply not 60 Senators who support a public option. But Reid is now convinced that Democratic critics of the public option will support him when it counts – on the procedural motion, which requires 60 votes, to defeat a certain GOP-led filibuster of the bill. Once the filibuster is beaten, it only takes 51 votes to pass the bill. Public Option: It's Back - The Note -------------------- From Huffington Post: Among the well informed, it was relayed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was looking at whether he could pass a public option with an opt-out clause for states in the final Senate package. Reid would then work to make sure that a more robust, national public plan (which he himself favors) would be included in health care reform once the Senate's bill was merged with the House's version. "The goal is to have the strongest possible bargaining position as possible," said one progressive health care strategist who has worked with leadership in Congress and the White House. "The opt-out option is the best of all the compromises and it puts Reid in decent position going into the conference committee." Public Option Chess Match: Reid Working For Best Bargaining Position -------------------- And one last, from today's Politico: W.H. leaning towards public option Top White House and Senate officials are leaning towards including a public option - with a provision for states to opt out of it - in the Senate health care bill, as the Senate leadership heads to the Oval Office Thursday for a meeting with the president. Two Democratic senators said Thursday that they have been told negotiators are zeroing in on creating a national government health plan, but allowing states to drop out of it or choose a different competitor to private insurance. W.H. leaning towards public option - Carrie Budoff Brown - POLITICO.com -------------------- I'm not here to shill or shake pom-poms or kiss Obama's ass. Just wanted to share my deep hope with the other folks on the politics forum that it looks like something good finally may be happening for the average american joe. - I mean, privatize restaurants and Fruit Loops and jeans and movies and frisbees --- but people's HEALTH should not be in the hands of Wall Street and stockholders and for-profit institutions (in my humble opinion).