Home > Government, Health Care, Politics > Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?

Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced he would be supporting a new Health Care Reform bill that has a modified public option included, citing strong public opinion in favor of such an option.  Additionally, he said he would consider using “reconciliation” in order to only require a 50% majority, rather than the usual 60%, to pass the bill.

This is a huge gamble for the Nevada Democrat, but one he is apparently willing to back with the rarely invoked “reconciliation” which would give the one-finger-salute to any attempt at bipartisanship.  Since the exact details of his proposal have yet to be released, and will be reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, I won’t discuss the merits of it here …yet.  But, the bold move does deserve some examination.

Is Harry Reid getting “Mavricky” on us?  Suddenly grown a huge set of balls?  Or, just emboldened by the growing public opinion consensus?  I think the evidence points solidly towards the latter.  “Public Option” wasn’t even part of his vocabulary when the Health Care debate began in earnest several months ago.  Then, when President Obama stated that he would prefer a bill with the PO, Reid pretty much poo-pooed it, saying he doubted he could get it passed.  Then, when Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested a PO back-up plan if certain thresholds were not met over the next 5-7 years, Reid said it was a “pretty darn good idea”.  In other worlds, he has waffled more on this subject than breakfast at IHOP!

Regardless of his motivation for the sudden discovery of backbone, Reid’s daring move deserves some applause.  While his bill may not ending up being a full-fledged PO that drives real competition in an overweight, out-of-shape Health Care system, it is a start in the right direction that will certainly drive the debate truly needed on this issue.  Most of all, though it took some time, it’s refreshing to see some of our elected officials seemingly inclined to heed to the will of the majority of the American people.

It remains to be seen if the Majority Leader can stick to his guns and get a bill done that will jive well with what the Pelosi-led House has proposed.  My suggestion to Senator Reid is to add some extra starch to his shirts in order to stand erect during the heated battle that is sure to follow, because I’m not sure if that is a faux Public Option in his pants pocket, or truly a new set of cojones.

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