As Harry Reid labors to push through a health reform bill with a public option, albeit an opt-out one, liberals are getting more and more antsy for President Obama to step up and lead this effort. They complain that he’s being too passive in the debate, annoyed that as late as last week, in Obama’s sitdown with Senate Democrats, he was still expressing his preference for a public option—but not supporting any particular plan.
“Expressing a preference for the public option is not the same as fighting for” it, one activist complains to Politico. Harry Reid’s brain trust wants Obama to actively lean on the two or three conservative Democrats opposed to the opt-out public option he's pushing. But some frustrated Senate Democrats say Rahm Emanuel is still lobbying for the weaker trigger option. The White House blog says “rumors” of a rift between Reid and the administration are “absolutely false.” The trigger plan currently has 58-59 votes, while the opt-out plan has 56-57, aides say.