Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played coy on health care reform today, saying he hopes to get legislation to CBO "soon," and that he, along with other senators and White House officials, are "leaning toward talking about a public option."
But he did have one somewhat telling thing to say: "I've had a number of meetings in my office, dealing with Democrats and Republicans on the public option aspect of it...when the decision's made to send this on to the CBO, I will have made a decision as to what we're going to do with the public option. It's not done yet."
This confirms to some extent what I reported last week--that though Reid isn't taking members to task publicly for standing in the way of the public option, he's meeting with them behind the scenes. But it also show's that he's not willing to pose the question of the public option as starkly as is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will ask the CBO to analyze different versions of the public option, and then employ those numbers to convince skeptics in her own party that the public option is the fiscally responsible course.
Reid, by contrast, says he will make the decision about the public option based on negotiations with his members and the White House, but won't use so blunt an object as a CBO analysis to pressure conservative Democrats to get on board.