Senate Finance Committee progress

The Senate continues to work in getting a bill ready for the floor.  The Senate Finance committee vetoed two attempts to add the public option and as they wind up their bill a public option will be excluded.  The Dodd/Kennedy bill has the public option and it will be up to Henry Reid to determine what will be in the bill that goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

The Senators that tried to amend the Senate Finance Committee bill yesterday have publicly stated they have more than 50 votes to pass a public option in the Senate.  That would require a reconciliation bill and it is unclear whether or not the parliamentarian for the Senate would allow a provision that may not be seen as a budget item.   If he agrees that a new government health plan can be part of a reconciliation bill, then it is possible that the Senate passes a bill with a public option.  This will continue to play out over the next couple of weeks.

In the House there has been silence which may mean that Pelosi still doesn’t have the votes to bring a bill to the floor.  At one point she had said it would be introduced this week.

While the saga continues, I still think it unlikely that a public option will make its way through the entire process.