Last night, with the typical eloquence of a 75 year old man using Twitter, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee wrote, "The prez is meetin w Finance and Help Demo bc doesn't appear they on same page Finance working biparty HELP more partisan. Where Prez land?"
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Translated roughly from the Twitterese, that means that President Obama met with Democrats from both the Finance Committee and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee because they disagree about the direction health reform should take. Unsurprisingly, all signs indicate that the more liberal HELP Committee--chaired by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)--will soon introduce a fairly dramatic reform proposal, with a truly robust public insurance option. Soon thereafter, though, the Finance Committee will unveil a rather less progressive proposal of its own with the issue of the public option--how robust it will be, or whether it will be included at all--still unsettled.
Grassley's spinning this as a rift between partisans and centrists within the Democratic party, and in a way that rift really exists. But the political play here is somewhat more complicated.