Tales from the Trail

Can Obama keep Democrats in line on healthcare to the end?

So President Barack Obama goes to Capitol Hill over the weekend and late Tuesday Senate Democrats reach a healthcare compromise on a public insurance option (Republicans oppose the legislation so every Democrat vote is needed to move it along). OBAMA/

Lots of day-after grumbling from both sides of the political spectrum: The Chamber of Commerce still opposes it and liberal activist group MoveOn.org said senators had “bargained away the heart of healthcare reform.”

Well, for critics it’s not likely to get any better on the public option front.

If the bill makes it to the final stages before becoming law,  the Senate version would need to be melded with the House version. And a true compromise would require the Senate to take on a stronger public option and the House to weaken its hand.

One lesson from covering Capitol Hill is that nothing is a done deal until the final vote is in.

House healthcare bill doesn’t boost public support – Poll

The big presentation — that’s 1,990 pages — of healthcare reform legislation by Democrats in the House of Representatives last week didn’t boost public support, with more voters still opposed to the effort, according to a new Rasmussen Reports opinion poll.

Just to recap where things stand: House Democratic leaders are hoping to move their bill to the floor for debate by late this week, it includes a government-run public insurance option. In the Senate, Democratic leaders are waiting for cost estimates on their legislation, which also includes a version of the “public option.” USA-HEALTHCARE/

The latest Rasmussen poll found that 42 percent of those surveyed favored the healthcare plan proposed by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. That was down from 45 percent a week ago and unchanged from two weeks ago.