William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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PUBLIC OPTION DIVIDES SENATE DEMS - AT 6:22 P.M. ET:  The trendies in the Democratic Party may have bitten off more organically grown Belgian endive than they can chew in demanding a public option for health-care "reform."  Some in the party aren't buying, threatening the entire bill.  The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats voiced deep disagreements on Tuesday over the idea of a government-run health insurance plan, suggesting that the decision by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to include a public plan in major health care legislation had failed, at least initially, to unite his caucus.

Simply to get the Senate to take up the legislation, Mr. Reid has said he needs 60 votes — effectively all 58 Democrats and the 2 independents who caucus with them. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the one Republican open to supporting the bill, said Tuesday that she would oppose the legislation because it now includes the public plan.

But while some senators who oppose a public plan said they would be willing to let Mr. Reid bring the legislation to the floor, the continuing apprehension of several others indicated enormous uncertainty.

COMMENT:  The Dems say they are determined to bring some form of health legislation to a vote, and pass it.  But right now the public option is holding things up.  What's shocking is that virtually no other aspect of the 1,500-page bill is even being debated.  There are provisions that go all the way to admission to medical school, and yet there is, essentially, silence. 

One tactic of the left, especially since the 1960s, is to overwhelm the system.  That's what's being done with this huge health bill.  It is simply impossible to have a considered debate on something this huge, and packaged in 1,500 pages.  This is a radical device, and the radicals may get their way.

October 27, 2009