Public Option Lives—If the Left Pushes Hard Enough

Nancy Pelosi still wants it in House-Senate compromise
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 9:35 AM CDT
Sen. Charles Grassley makes a point on an amendment as committee chairman Max Baucus listens.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – As health care reform chugs through the Senate Finance Committee, Mike Madden checks in on the prospects for a public option and finds it's not quite dead yet. A big test comes today when the committee votes on amendments from supporters of the public option, such as Jay Rockefeller. "Don't count it out," says Chuck Schumer, sounding not exactly like his usual "bulldog" self, notes Madden, writing for Salon.

The other factor: "How hard the left pushes for it in the House." If it gets enough support—and Nancy Pelosi is pushing it every day—the public option will be that much harder to weed out of the eventual House-Senate compromise. At that point, the White House, which must play coy for now, is expected to get involved. "The public option's fate may not be quite sealed yet, after all," writes Madden. "But if progressives want to save it, they're going to have to keep fighting for it."