Senate Majority Leader is probably feeling like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.
His deal on a public option for health care reform is falling apart, his party faithful are jumping off the Democratic Titanic and he needs a Plan B — any Plan B — to try and salvage the centerpiece of the Obama administration.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s appeals for party unity landed with a thud Tuesday with the very group he needs for his public-option push to pay off: centrists who hold the key to health reform.
And not just any centrists but one who makes liberals see red: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP attempt to block the bill from moving to final passage.
Lieberman’s comments dealt a major setback to Reid’s push to pass a bill with a public insurance option, so much so that other Senate Democrats — notably Delaware Sen. Tom Carper — were already sketching out a Plan B to get the votes, most likely through a more watered-down version of the public option.
It wasn’t just Lieberman. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who faces a tough reelection, said Tuesday she was reluctant to sign on with Reid’s plan, too. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) won’t give any answer until he sees the final language.