I'm hearing a lot of the usual chatter about using reconciliation for the public option in light of comments by various Dems, such as Ben Nelson. But Reid sounded pretty adamant the other day:
Reid also said he would not use a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation to pass the bill – a shift from previous statements when he would say all options are on the table.
“I’m not using reconciliation,” he said flatly.
As dday noted, this could be construed as only applying to the Saturday vote, but it actuallysounds to me as if he took it off the table in order to get that vote. I guess he could go back on that promise, but I would doubt it.
Reconciliation is looking more and more likely to be the best way they get a public option, but my guess is at this point that they are very unlikely to use it unless the liberals demand it. And I just don't know how much more stomach anyone has for this high wire act.
I gather that there is plenty of talk about the public option in the Senate and that it is not off the table in some form or another, so I am not one of those who are perpetually pronouncing it dead. People have been doing that for months and continue to look foolish when it doesn't turn out to be true. So, I remain hopeful that it happens, if only for political reasons demonstrating to the village that liberals have the political clout to push through their priorities. (Truthfully, I'm not sure if any of this is going to be worth it if they can't figure out a way to speed up the reforms, but that's another problem.)
However it happens I think Reid's words are fairly clear, especially since, as dday pointed out, reconcilation was the threat that Reid used to get the vote and when he took it off the table, the dynamic changed. I think the deal was made and that Reid probably won't bring it back.
But, as always, I could be wrong. My crystal ball is as cloudy as always.