The Senate Majority Leader endorses the Mike Ross/Kent Conrad/WellPoint authored co-op plan:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) endorsed the concept of health insurance cooperatives Thursday, siding with centrists in the House and Senate who want healthcare reform but oppose a public option.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also hinted she could accept that approach a day after President Barack Obama delivered an address to a joint session of Congress that offered encouraging words for both centrists and liberal Democrats who have demanded a public insurance option.
I think I may have to adjust my prediction for the co-op "squeeze play" on July 20:
The easiest political path to passing health care is still running the "co-op" crunch. Regardless of what the House does, the Senate can pass Conrad’s shitty fake co-op. The Blue Dogs band together and refuse to vote for anything else, and that’s what comes out of conference. There’s a PR blitz to sell it as a "public plan" (which is why we’ve worked so assiduously to define it as NOT a public plan), and in a rush to get something passed, Rahm starts twisting progressive arms — which have been historically very easily twisted.
Blue Dog Mike Ross presciently submitted virtually the same co-op plan in a July 31 amendment that finally emerged this week in Max Baucus’s Senate plan. But since it now looks like Pelosi is on board with co-ops, that means the Blue Dogs aren’t going to have to take the hit.
Is this a great country or what?