Joe Lieberman threw a healthy dose of water on the Pelosi-Reid-Obama health care fire this morning, reiterating that he will join in a Republican filibuster of any Senate health care bill which contains a public option. This is at least the second time in recent days Lieberman has made this commitment, and there is every reason to believe he means it.
Keep in mind, Nancy Pelosi cut a deal to get her health care bill through the House (by a mere 5 votes) by allowing a floor vote on the Stupak Amendment, which reiterates existing federal law banning federal funding for abortions, and takes that law several steps further by requiring any health plan which participates in the newly established exchanges to offer competing plans, one which covers abortion and one which does not. The Stupak Amendment makes clear that any plan offering abortion coverage must be self-funding, with no federal funds used directly or indirectly. As many left-wing bloggers are screaming, the Stupak Amendment guts Roe v. Wade in reality (but not in law) by creating a subclass of health insurance coverage which will cost more and be less available than alternatives without abortion coverage.
So Harry Reid needs to drop the public option to get a bill through the Senate. Nancy Pelosi needs to drop abortion coverage even for most private plans, to get a bill through the House.
The end result: If a bill is to pass both houses of Congress, it will have no public option and no abortion coverage.
The left-wing will take care of dropping Pelosi and Reid from their leadership positions. And if Obama were to sign such a bill, who knows whether he would be dropped in 2012.
I’m already feeling a little better about the situation, than last night at 11:00. I told you first reactions were dangerous.