Another reporter (ok, Brian Beutler, but seriously, TPM, start crediting sources when you use them) notes that Olympia Snowe isn’t all that dazzled by this new compromise proposal from Senate Democrats, which would substitute a Medicare buy-in and other reforms for a public option.

“We looked at it…we evaluated that, because it’s an attractive approach. This has appeal…but we examined that issue this summer and a number of issues cropped up.”

She’s expressed her doubts to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I told him I have concerns,” she said. “The Medicare buy in is problematic.”

A reporter asked if that meant she’s not inclined to support the idea. “Correct,” she said.

Remember, yesterday’s qualified support from Ben Nelson – that the Medicare buy-in “has support,” is really no different than what Snowe’s saying, that it “has appeal.” I’m not convinced that any of the holdout Democrats would vote for this, yet. And if Ben Nelson joins a GOP filibuster over his abortion amendment, you would need at least one Republican to invoke cloture.

So it looks clear that there’s not really a deal here, yet, especially if you take into account the opposition from House progressives.

Incidentally, what’s true about the proposed “grand bargain” on all this is that it’s really a compromise, along the lines of what Jon Walker proposed months ago. This would involve a back and forth, where liberals and conservatives each get something they want and lose something they want. My guess is that ConservaDems and Republicans don’t really want a real compromise – they want a “compromise” where liberals give up everything of value.

UPDATE: And now hospitals are opposed to the Medicare buy-in. Beware of grand bargains before the end of the bargaining.

UPDATE II: Lieberman is lukewarm. He must love having the assumed monarchical powers on this one.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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