Jonathan Bernstein over at the Daily Dish predicts the public option to sneak its way into law next year (if the current bill passes this time around). His reasoning:
I expect virtually every Democrat in contested primaries during this
and (if still not enacted) the next campaign cycle to support the
public option, at least in any district in which Democrats have a
chance to win. The main exceptions will be incumbents such as Lincoln
who already voted against it...and I won't be shocked if she switches.
In a Democratic primary, I don't see any potential downside. Liberals
love it, and for better or worse Democrats don't believe that it will
be a general election liability.
The other part of this is that
the public option should be eligible for a reconciliation bill, so it
won't take sixty Democrats to get it done.
So for all you public
option fans out there: it ain't gonna happen this year, but if the
Democrats hold Congress there's a good chance that it will be law by
the time the exchanges are up and working. Assuming, of course, that
the bill passes.