There's still some hope that the Senate will step up and vote for a public option in reconciliation, but it's becoming less and less likely as the whipping continues. That's not to say it won't happen, but it's hard to see that anyone wants to upset the apple cart at this late stage.
So, what to do? Alan Grayson has the answer and it's so obvious and so right that I really hope liberals keep pushing for this until it happens. These next few years are going to be difficult as HCR comes online so slowly that it's going to be in political danger and the populace is going to be very agitated. If this is in place, with plenty of co-sponsors, when the frustration hits fever pitch they might just get it done:
The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish enrollment periods, coverage guidelines, and premiums for the program. Because premiums would be equal to cost, the program would pay for itself.
“The government spent billions of dollars creating a Medicare network of providers that is only open to one-eighth of the population. That’s like saying, ‘Only people 65 and over can use federal highways.’ It is a waste of a very valuable resource and it is not fair. This idea is simple, it makes sense, and it deserves an up-or-down vote,” Congressman Grayson said.
In fact it couldn't be simpler. Here's Grayson making the case:
I'm there. I think every progressive in the land should sign on.