I generally agree with Jay Cost’s analysis on where the health care bill stands right now. His analysis also supports what I’ve been saying about the general strategy of maintaining momentum by postponing the toughest votes as long as possible. It looks very likely that Harry Reid will get unanimity from the Democratic caucus for opening debate. But he won’t get 60 votes to end debate so easily because several Democrats are afraid for their political futures (erroneously, I think) and Joe Lieberman is more interested in winning Republican than Democratic votes in his next election bid.
The amendment process is going to be very unpredictable and it could very well determine whether the bill passes the second cloture threshold or not. I don’t know whether Olympia Snowe will vote yes in the end, but Reid crafted the bill in such a way as to give her maximum comfort. She may not like the public option, but she’ll like a lot of other things that she’ll be able to take partial credit for.
It’s hard to believe that we could start this process and debate the bill for three or four weeks, and then Lieberman and forty Republicans would kill it. But, then, it’s hard to believe that they wouldn’t.