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Thursday, October 22, 2009

News keeps rolling out about the public option today; ABC is reporting that a public option is likely to be in the final Senate bill (about which Max Baucus is said to be "apoplectic"), and Open Left's informal whip count has 58 votes for cloture. (Most Important People in the Country by this count: Mary Landrieu and Evan Bayh.)

Open Left also discusses reports that suggest Pelosi's "robust" version will pass the House. Genuine health care reform seems very close today.

UPDATE: Steve Benen has some thoughts on Mary Landrieu and her stated opposition to the public option. Of course the real question is not whether she'll vote for the bill but whether she'll vote for cloture—and call me a pie-in-the-sky optimist but I find it hard to imagine, when push comes to shove, that any member of the Democratic caucus would cast the lone vote to destroy health care reform by denying it a floor vote. (Landrieu or Bayh would basically have to switch parties if they did, and no one jumps onto a sinking ship.) Because he's a proud member of the notoriously independent Connecticut for Lieberman caucus, I've been much more worried about Lieberman's loyalty than anybody else's—so I'm glad to see he's already confirmed he'll vote for cloture.

UPDATE 2: Apparently Landrieu announced today that she won't support a Republican filibuster. If Open Left's count is right, that just leaves President Bayh.