Who Killed the Public Option?

Yglesias and Greenwald both write on the idea the public option died a curious death, killed off by some unseen Congressional entity, but the more I think about the politics of passing a public option now, the more I think the obvious answer for why there’s little enthusiasm for bringing the public option back is that the House probably can’t pass a bill that includes it. As plenty of people have pointed out, while Pelosi got 220 votes for the bill in the House, 4 of those votes (Murtha, Abercrombie, Cao, and Wexler) are gone. Additionally, they’ll probably lose 5 votes, give or take, over the differences in abortion language in the Senate bill. That means that Pelosi and House leadership are going to have to do some serious lifting getting Blue Dogs who voted against the House bill to vote for the Senate/reconcilliation bill, and that’s probably much easier to do without a public option, leaving the Congresspersons room to say they can support the more moderate Senate bill, even if they couldn’t support the House bill. It’d be a line of bullshit, to be sure, but that seems the only truly plausible answer as to why Democrats are running away from a chance to pass it in the Senate.

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