Code of Silence: What's Behind Some Dems' Opposition to the Public Option?

 There are 59 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, and the only Democrat to oppose a public option is Joe Lieberman. It takes only 51 votes to pass a public option through reconciliation, and the Senate leadership has not yet decided whether to use reconciliation for the public option.


And yet, somehow, we keep being told by Democratic members of the Senate that there is no way a public option will pass through the Senate. Today, Bill Nelson chimed in:

Nelson later told The Ledger in an interview that the public option also can't pass the Senate.

"The public option is only one of hundreds of issues concerned with health care reform," he said. "Public option means different things to different people. Some people think of it as socialized medicine, but that type is not and has not ever been considered.

"Still any public option will not pass," he said.

There are only three ways to reconcile what Senator Bill Nelson said with the political situation that Democrats are currently presenting to the public: 

  1. The Senate leadership has decided not to use reconciliation for the public option, and just hasn't told the public this yet.
  2. In addition to Joe Lieberman, nine other members of the Senate Democratic caucus are categorically opposed to a public option of any sort, but haven't told the American people this yet.
  3. Bill Nelson is just making random predictions to the media.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.