Never mind that it is the provision of a public option that makes the Senate bill save more money in the budget than it costs. If Lieberman doesn't change his mind, and Olympia Snowe doesn't change her mind, then there will be no public option. In fact, the Senate bill simply won't pass. Reid will have to withdraw the bill and introduce Snowe's trigger as the base bill, or he will have to give up entirely and go to reconciliation. But I am not sure anymore that the House can pass a bill in reconciliation. I am not sure that they can pass a bill with a trigger, either.I'm not saying the battle's lost. We all knew the last mile would be the toughest. But it's now clear that the House bill will never be voted on in the Senate, and the Senate bill will not contain a public option of any type. The insurance companies own their Senators, so it doesn't matter what the people want. Just like the banks and the defense contractors know, the U.S. Congress is the best lawmaking body money can buy.
Perhaps in another 16 years America will take another shot at it. Of course by then half of us will be uninsured, but hey...government is bad.