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Failure to launch

I love this! Jonathan Karl at ABC News reported yesterday that

Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.

That’s certainly good news. It’s possible that this is really just a trial balloon to see if they can get moderates on board, but there seems to be somewhat of a groundswell.  jhwygirl over at 4&20 Blackbirds is reporting on a new CNN poll that shows support for a public health insurance option at 61% and growing.

What was so great about the ABC reporting was this quote;

I am told that Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) – who worked for months to get Olympia Snowe’s support for the bill and has consistently said a public option cannot pass the Senate – was apoplectic when Reid told him he wanted to include the public option.  “Baucus went to DEFCON 1,” said a source familiar with the negotiations, referring to the alert level the military uses for an imminent attack on the homeland.

Har! Oh, to be a fly on the wall. I can just picture Max climbing the curtains. After all the work he did to placate his corporate overlords. He gave the insurance industry everything they wanted and they hit back with phony data and reports. Now this, which would be the final insult. In an update this morning, Max tried to make nice,

“From the moment he recommended a public option in his white paper nearly a year ago, Senator Baucus has made clear he would support a public option or any other mechanism to ensure choice, competition and get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate,” said Baucus spokesman Scott Mulhauser.

Yeah, right! I’m sure that Max will follow the leadership on this one, he usually does, but you might want to console him and send him a polite note to let him know that Montanans will support his belated vote on a public option. Let’s get Max back down to code yellow.

Max Baucus  contact page or phone toll free 800-332-6106 or fax 202-228-1493

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