Brian Beutler at TPM previews the next wave of health care reform stories: why taking the reconciliation route–the one that only requires 51 votes–isn’t going to work. His argument is that it would force a more robust public option, which some of the moderates in the party would oppose. I’m not sure about that–but then, no one really can be until we have actual legislation to chew over. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if a fair number of Senate classicists who are Democrats opposed this on “unparliamentary shortcut” grounds–just as Republican classicists blocked the use of the nuclear option to confirm judges during the Bush Administration.
In any case, I think it’s premature–second time I’ve used that word today–to assume that the Obama Administration won’t be able to rustle up 60 or more votes for a significant, if not complete, health care reform bill. And I still believe that such a bill is likely to pass this year.