by Max Brantley
Talking Points Memo says Sen. Harry Reid soon will unveil health legislation with a public option insurance component, but an opt-out provision for states. It is a given that WHATEVER the Democrats recommends Republicans will describe it as the end of the world. Gilbert Baker, wannabe senator, appears to be out front with the talking point -- straight from NRSC -- that this is government-run health care, even before it has been announced.
Sen. Baker: Since you oppose government health care, will you promise now if elected to end Medicaid, Medicare and the health care system for members of the military and family? Thank you.
UPDATE: Nah, Sen. Blanche Lincoln isn't ready to sign on to anything that smacks of public option.
The key is to ask moderate Dems whether they’re willing to vote Yes on the initial, procedural vote, which requires 60 to bring the legislation to the floor. I asked Lincoln spokesperson Katie Laning Niebaum if Lincoln had indicated to Reid whether she’d vote Yes on cloture.
“Senator Lincoln has not committed her vote to anyone,” Niebaum emailed, adding that “she will have to see the legislative language and cost first and will evaluate it based on its impact on Arkansans.”
Sen. Mark Pryor says he's undecided on the bill. Unlike Lincoln, he says it's unlikely he'd vote to filibuster.