A new survey from Thomson Reuters is the roughly the 100th poll to show that an overwhelming majority of Americans want a public option. The poll found that 59.9% of people favor reform containing a public option. Despite being heavily attacked by insurance companies, Republicans, and a handful of conservative Democrats, the public option remains consistently popular.
The American people wanted a public option, and they have not been swayed in their desire for an alternative to the for-profit insurance companies. Carper's new “alternative” is not a public option. It is not even public option-like. It is not public because it would be run by a non-governmental board. It is also not an option because the trigger will be designed to never be pulled, therefore ensuring no one would have this option.
If the Senate Democrats pass a bill without a public option (or some worthless fig leaf pretending to be a public option, like Carper's non-public triggered co-op non-option) it will be in direct opposition to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of their base, and of the American people. If that happens, it is because Harry Reid decided he cares more about keeping Joe Lieberman and Blanche Lincoln happy than he does about standing with his constituents. Remember, you don't need 60 votes to pass health care reform. You can always pass it with a simple majority using reconciliation.