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Bad news for the public option

Harry Reid’s plan to attempt to push through the Senate health care legislation containing a public option has hit a snag. Republican Olympia Snowe reportedly will oppose such a bill. This means Reid needs the vote of every Democrat. But it appears that he does not have Joe Lieberman’s support.
If Lieberman isn’t on board, Democratic Senators from red states, especially those who will be running in 2010, may feel free to jump ship, since their vote will no longer matter in terms of the outcome. With Lieberman on board, the Democrats might well be in a position to strong-arm any reluctant “moderates” among the Senate Dems. But as of now, he is not on board.
UPDATE: Lieberman’s position, according to this report from Rich Lowry, is that he’ll vote (with Reid) for cloture to get to the floor for debate, but vote against cloture when it comes to voting the bill out of the Senate.
At the end of the day, I think this still means “no” to the public option, at least as Reid wants it to be, but stay tuned.

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