The Huffington post today has been fussing that the Senate is getting ready to pass health care with a public option without Obama's leadership. It's meant to make Obama come out in support of the public option.
I am becoming convinced that Obama doesn't have to micro manage this issue. He told Congress to come up with a plan. Over the summer it didn't look like they would get one out of committee, the screaming and fussing by the tea baggers and the wingnuts looked like it would be killed. Then a strange thing happened, as the battle lines were drawn it started dawning on the dems that if they caved on this issue they'd be run out of Washington on a rail of public anger.
So a committee passed a plan without a public option. This means the bill will go to the floor for debate. but now Harry Reid (president pro tem) is saying that he has the votes to pass the bill with a public option, and many that were previously opposed to a public option are either wavering or seeing the light.
Speaker of the House, Pelosi has said from the beginning that they would not support a health bill without a public option. The senate is starting to face political reality. Even Paul Krugman is optimistic that health care will be passed.
Obama has played his cards beautifully. Unlike Clinton who tried to pass the legislation from the top down. Obama has told congress to do their job and serve the people. This will not be Obama's bill. He has no fingerprints. This will be a Democratic party bill. (The lone Republican vote, Snowe has said she won't vote for a public option). It will most likely pass without a single Repub vote and the Dems can take all the glory. Just like Social Security and Medicare once it's passed it will turn into a very popular public service that no politician should touch (third rail, the electrified rail in the subway). They're now talking about a trigger for the public option, but the pressure being put on congress now by the grass roots supporters of health reform should keep their feet to the fire and stop this attempt at sleight of hand.
For once I have reason to be optimistic.