Yesterday, Senator Baucus (D?-MT) killed the public option, as far as the Senate Finance Committee is concerned. If the eventual healthcare bill contains a public option, it won’t come through his committee.
The question is, why?
For sacrificing his principles, Senator Baucus will get his bill out of committee, but be lucky to pick up even middling support on the Senate floor. And, he’ll throw the public under the bus — 65% of voters want a public option, when fairly described. Baucus finds himself in the peculiar position of catering to a party, while ignoring both its constituents, and his. You can cave in to the playground bully for so long, before you finally just have to deck him and move on. For Senator Baucus, now is that time.