Sen. Tom Harkin is pushing the reconciliation sidecar strategy to pass health care reform. From Omaha World-Herald:
Harkin said he has been advocating in recent days for the House to pass the Senate version of the health care bill along with a package of revisions that would be passed through the reconciliation process, which would only require a simple majority in the Senate.
Harkin predicted that Democrats would pursue that course in the coming weeks and most likely finish by early March.
“It’s going to happen,” Harkin said.
Harkin claims to be a strong supporter of the public option and/or Medicare buy-in. He repeatedly claimed that the public option had the support of over 50 Democratic senators. Harkin also promised to revisit the public option after passing the Senate bill.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told reporters that the public option is not dead. “It will be revisited,” he said. “I’m just saying, I believe it is so vital and so important that it is going to be revisited. Believe me.” The Iowa Democrat said that “even next year,” senators “may be doing some things to modify, to fix, to compliment what we’ve passed here.”
Here is your chance, Sen. Harkin. You can revisit the public option right now. The public option, or some form of public alternative, like a Medicare buy in, can be passed using reconciliation with a simple majority in the Senate. If you are serious about supporting a public option, you now have your chance to deliver on your promise.