They’re still not buying Obamacare, Politico reports:
If Democratic leadership hoped Republican Olympia Snowe’s decision to cross party lines Tuesday would inspire her fellow middle-of-the-roaders, they were mistaken.
And the moderates’ reluctance to commit showed just how far health reform still has to go, despite getting a boost from Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee vote.
Moderate Democrats did draw plenty of inspiration from Snowe – but instead of using her “yes” vote as a reason to embrace health care reform, fence-sitters hailed the caveats in her public statement Tuesday as a rationale for withholding their own judgment.
Which is good, because Senate liberals are still trying to stuff the public option into the bill:
Liberal Democrats, led by West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, will try to add optional government-coverage to the final bill to compete with private insurers.
Off Capitol Hill, MoveOn.org began airing TV ads on cable blasting the Finance Committee bill, and organized labor is running a full-page newspaper ad this week criticizing the measure for failing to include a public option or require employers to provide their workers with health care. The unions also oppose a tax on high-end health care plans that Finance Committee Democrats used to pay for the bill.
But here’s more good news:
[O]n the House side, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer raised the prospect that the bill might slip past Christmas and into 2010 – which could be politically disastrous for President Barack Obama, who has tried to pass health reform this year to put some distance between the vote and the midterm elections.
Every delay helps.