Appearing on MSNBC today, public option-advocate Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked a provocative question.
So if you have a conference committee where the House has it strongly, almost rock solid, in their bill, and the Senate...if we don't have it in the bill there are 54, 55, 56 Democratic senators for it, how are they going to report back a bill without it?
One difficulty that both the White House and public option skeptics appear to be facing is that, though they may be perfectly happy to advance a bill without a public option, the measure remains very popular, and intensely so among politically engaged, Democratic voters. That's a dynamic to keep an eye on: At this point, nobody wants to be identified as the driving force behind its demise.
Maybe that's why Schumer says he's finding conservative Dems pretty open to the idea.