The Baucus caucusOur dear friends in the Senate Finance Committee have voted down the Schumer/Cantwell “less cool but still cool” public option amendment as well, 13-10 (Dems voting no: Baucus, Conrad, Lincoln), so there will officially (we think?) not be a public option in the Senate Finance Committee bill. SURPRISE.

Now there is still a chance for a public option bill coming out of the Senate in the end — the Finance bill still has to be merged with the HELP Committee’s bill — but note Max Baucus’ rationale for voting against both this and the Rockefeller amendment: a public option wouldn’t pass the Senate! Well, it can: if the Dems can come together as 60 in a cloture vote, then the final floor vote on a public option would only need 50. Would you like to be one of the few Democrats standing on the floor, with the entire Republican caucus, to filibuster a health care bill from reaching an up-or-down vote on the Senate?

But of course the Democratic majority would never actually make the opposition go through with a real-life filibuster. Tacky!

Many Options for a Public Option — Even if Not Enough Votes [NYT]

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