One Man, 330 Million Votes

The hands of fate are attached to Joe Lieberman's arms:
[Lsst] night, Democratic senators emerged from a tense 90-minute closed-door session and suggested that they were on the verge of bowing to Mr. Lieberman's main demands: that they scrap a plan to let people buy into Medicare beginning at age 55, and scotch even a fallback version of a new government-run health insurance plan, or public option.

Mr. Lieberman said he believed that the Medicare expansion was off the table, though he did not get any guarantee. "Not an explicit assurance, no," he said. "But put me down tonight as encouraged at the direction in which these discussions are going."
My pal Steve notes:
There were concerns early yesterday that the more progressive members of the Democratic caucus might balk at a bill lacking their key priorities. As of last night, it appeared that they, too, had grudgingly agreed to accept the weaker bill.

Senate HELP Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said the loss of the provisions was bowing to "reality." He added, "There's good stuff in the bill. It's a giant step forward. We're changing the paradigm of health care in America." Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), another champion of the public option, told reporters, "I want to see health care reform. There's going to be a good bill." Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), who helped strike the deal for a Medicare buy-in last week, added, "We're not going to get all that we want. But we're going to get so much more than we have."
I've completely and utterly lost track of what it is that we're "going to get" out of this reform. I'm sure it'll be awesome, though.

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