Friday, October 16, 2009

Health Care: Perhaps Reid Has a Trick Up His Sleeve?

Much has been said of late about our Senior Senator and his role in the health care fight. But do people really know what he's up to? Are folks just assuming things about Harry Reid that may not actually be true?

Perhaps so, reports TPM.

"Reid and/or his staff has been in practically hourly conversations with a whole set of progressive players re how best to make sure we position ourselves to get a strong public option coming out of conference committee," said one progressive strategist, who asked not to be named. "He hasn't made any final procedural decisions yet RE how to get that done, but he's having really honest conversations [about] all his major options, pros and cons of each, etc. I'm actually pretty impressed, at least right now."

The source adds, "He and his staff are much more engaged with both pro-public option activists and Senators over the last couple of weeks.... But he does seem to have a new sense of religion [with respect to] figuring out how to maximize our chances for the best possible public option coming out of conference."

Approached by TPMDC, a prominent progressive health care leader echoed this conclusion. "Harry Reid sincerely wants to get a public option and he's doing everything he can to figure out how," the second source added.

An optimistic Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told TPMDC, "We talk to him, he doesn't have to reach very far. He's listening, clearly Reid's listening on all this on the public option."

So maybe Reid is actually sticking to his word? I think he is. He knows he needs the progressive base that turned Nevada blue last year to keep the state blue and help him win reelection. If Reid delivers a good public option, it will shut the naysayers' mouths and make him a Democratic hero again.

Reid keeps saying he wants a public option, so perhaps he really is fighting for it. We really need to keep encouraging him to go for it and deliver what Nevada families really want out of health care reform.

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