The results were 8 ayes and 15 nays on the Rockefeller public option amendment. Baucus, Conrad, Carper, Nelson, and Lincoln were the Democratic nays. And now they have a vote against a public choice on their record. Considering the polling, I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.
The Schumer amendments are coming up.
And just to be clear: I think the majority of the American public's take on all this is quite right. They're in favor of health care reform with a public option. That makes sense. And they're against being forced to give their money to the bloated, lobbyist-ridden private insurers, That also makes sense.
I think the "centrist" Dems are really, really underestimating the extent to which they'll be punished for mandates-without-public option. They're letting their fear of the Republicans and the lobbyists take the place of their politician's instincts for keeping the public onside. The public isn't onside. The public isn't onside at all.
And that may make sense for some. I imagine Baucus has a plump 'n juicy board seat at WellPoint waiting for him. But at least a few are in deep trouble, and Baucus' board seat isn't worth their jobs. I just hope they figure it out before they end up screwing themselves and everybody else.
Edit: Schumer's amendment gets Nelson onside. Baucus et al are going to start looking reeeeally isolated if HELP's bill is stronger, and if Harkin is right about the votes.