In the wake of the successful vote on the Senate Finance Committee's health care bill, key senators weighed in on the most hot button issues at the heart of the reform fight: the public option and budget reconciliation. Both Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer said during the hearing that the final package must include a public option.
But after the vote, in a response to a question from TPMDC, Schumer said, "I'm not drawing any lines in the sand." But, he added in response to a separate question, that the recent AHIP/PwC analysis make the ultimate inclusion of the public option "more likely."
On the separate issue of whether this means Democrats can avoid turning to the controversial budget reconciliation process, Finance chairman Max Baucus told reporters that he's "very confident" that the bipartisan vote today will be able to pass health care reform through the regular order.
We'll bring you more responses as they flow in.