Of course, we all now know that it was a 14-9 vote to clear the bill out of the conservative dominated Senate Finance Committee. But of course, we also know that this is The Baucus Bill we're talking about. Remember The Baucus Bill? The one with no public option? The one with really weak regulation of the insurance companies? The one that will force people to buy HMO plans without offering them any real alternative?
The one with no public option?
Seriously, I am at least a bit relieved that all the hemming and hawing from The Senate Finance Committee is finally over. So while we still wait on further action in the House, all focus now shifts to Obama, Reid, Dodd, and Baucus. Why? Well, they're the ones who will be merging the conservative Finance bill with the more progressive HELP bill with a good public option and better subsidies to working families.
MoveOn is wasting no time in ratcheting up pressure on the Senate and the White House to stand by the public option.
So what next? Right now, we need to keep reminding Obama and Reid why we supported them. We in Nevada have leverage over them because Obama's our President and Reid's our Senator. I'm hopeful that Reid will be reelected next year, but it's always good for him to motivate progressives to support him and the entire Democratic farm team all the way to victory next year. I'm sure a good health care bill with a strong public option will do just the trick.
Hopefully, Obama, Reid, and all the other Democrats who care will deliver. Yes, The Baucus Bill was passed. But hopefully, Baucus won't have the last word on what becomes law.