Bayh: I Can Imagine Reid’s Bill Failing


The temperature taking of Senate moderates continues. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) doesn’t think of the public option as a high-priority issue. But I asked him whether, in conversations with his fellow moderates, he’s gotten the sense that a health care bill with an opt-out public option might get snagged up before it comes to the floor.

He was pretty blunt. “Yeah, I think that’s possible.” His own chief concern, he says, is the deficit. “But for me, if there are things in here that would substantially explode the deficit in the out years, I would feel so strongly about that, that it would be difficult for me to vote go to the bill without that having been corrected, because once you’ve done that you’ve given up, really, your ability to have a significant impact on the outcome.”


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at