Public option, pushing up the daisies

PUBLIC OPTION, PUSHING UP THE DAISIES…. Legend has it that when Rasputin was murdered, his attackers found it difficult to actually kill him. He was reportedly poisoned. When that didn’t do the trick, he was shot. Still kicking, Rasputin was then clubbed, and to finally finish the job, drowned.

The public option kind of reminds me of Rasputin.

The public option has been killed more times than I care to count, but as of this morning, there was still some talk that it wasn’t quite dead. If it were included in the budget reconciliation fix currently being negotiated, it could still rise from the grave. Again.

As a supporter of the idea, I’ve been hesitant about getting my hopes up. The language of the budget fix is still being negotiated, but any provision in the bill would need to have at least 50 votes in the Senate. By the last count, those lobbying for the public option were still 10 members short.

And as of this afternoon, it appears they’ve run out of time. The House leadership expects to have the language completed for the reform package today, and it can’t move forward on a provision that doesn’t have majority support in both chambers. With that in mind, House Speaker Pelosi told reporters today that the public option is dead and is “not going to be part of the legislation.”

“I’m quite sad that a public option isn’t in there. But it isn’t a case of it’s not in there because the Senate is whipping against it. It’s not in there because they don’t have the votes to have it in there. […]

“We had it. We wanted it. They didn’t have it. It’s not in the reconciliation.”

That’s disappointing, of course, but not at all unexpected.