REID TALKS ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT…. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) spoke on the floor this afternoon, and said he’s confident that the Finance Committee will move on its health care reform bill before the August recess.

But his remarks also signaled some discouraging expectations about what Reid thinks is likely to be in the final bill.

“Any plan that passes the Senate will be fully paid for … When all of the numbers are crunched, the number on the bottom line will be zero … We are long overdue for changes in our health care system. The biggest cost to the American public is inaction.”

“What I think should be in the bill is something that I will vote for according to my conscience when we get this bill to the floor … But I have a responsibility to get a bill to the Senate floor that will get 60 votes that we can proceed toward.”

“That’s my number one responsibility and there are times I have to set aside my personal preferences for the good of the Senate and I think the country.”

The Majority Leader didn’t use the words “public option,” but it certainly seemed like he was hinting, didn’t it? What matters is what will “get 60 votes,” which is more important, he said, than what he thinks “should be in the bill.”

Would now be a good time to mention that Reid is the leader of a 60-member caucus?

Howard Dean (appearing in front of a very familiar backdrop) rhetorically asked Rachel Maddow last night, “[W]hat’s the point of having a 60 vote majority in the United States Senate, if you can’t produce … health care reform?”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.