Is Roland Burris Health Care Reform's Wildcard?
1:07 PM, Dec 9, 2009 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
Last night Harry Reid announced that Senate Democrats had reached an agreement on a health care bill. "It is a consensus that includes a public option," Reid said in his statement.
But subsequent reporting indicates the "public option" may not be part of Reid's "consensus" after all. The option may be diminished or junked altogether to make way for a Medicare buy-in and opening the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to all comers.
Enter Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois. In the past, he has threatened to filibuster a bill that does not include a public option, and he repeated his threat on Tuesday night.
The Burris threat is likely an empty one. But what if it isn't? Appointed by scandal-plagued former governor Rod "F--ing" Blagojevich over the objections of Reid, Durbin, and just about everybody, Burris has no friends in the Senate. He is beholden to no one. He is not running for a full term next year. For all we know, he may just be wacky enough to derail Harry Reid's health care bill if his demands are not met.
I mean, it's not like he's an egomaniac or anything.