Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) just walked walked into the Democrats all-important caucus meeting tonight sounding defeatest about the chance that a Medicare buy-in or public option trigger will survive Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-CT) decision to block the compromises this weekend.
Asked by a reporter if the Medicare buy-in will be pulled out, Harkin said "looks that way," before praising a Democratic health care bill without the two public option compromises.
"There's enough good in this bill that even without those two, we gotta move," he said. "All the insurance reforms, all the stuff we wrote so hard for prevention and wellness in there, the workforce development issues that we have in there, the reimbursement based on quality not on quantity -- there's good stuff in this bill. It's a giant step forward, changing the paradigm of health care in America."
With that, Harkin turned and walked into the caucus meeting. Shortly after him came Lieberman, dashing into the room and taking no questions from the reporters swarmed around him.