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health carnage

Is the Public Option Back Again, Again?

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. The public option has been killed and revived so many times now that you'd think it was a character on Lost. Its latest lease on life comes in the form of a letter calling for the Senate to use the reconciliation process to add the public option to the health-care legislation still being shaped behind the scenes. As of last night, eighteen Democratic senators have signed on to the letter, including, yesterday, the big get of Chuck Schumer. Hooray!

Of course, math tells us that 18 votes is not 50 votes. It's not even that close. And though 58 Democrats were in favor of the public option around the time it was stripped from the bill they passed months ago, times and circumstances have changed — the election of Scott Brown and increasingly terrible poll numbers could certainly scare enough Democrats to tank the idea. And Obama — he'd support the public option if it had the votes, but does he really care enough at this point to go out and get the votes? Doesn't he just want to sign any bill with words on it at this point?

Public Option Support Surging In Senate [HuffPo]
How Many Lives Does the Public Option Have? [Treatment/New Republic]
Is the public option making a comeback? [Ezra Klein/WP]

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Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images