It will take 60 votes in the Senate to move a major reform package through and with votes so tight, every senator has the equivalent of a veto power. Witness Connecticut's independent senator, Joe Lieberman. Though he had suggested previously that he would support the public option and then the watered down version whereby Medicare eligibility would drop to age 55, his comments over the past few days that he'd have a "hard time voting" for the provision has ultimately led to its being dropped from the bill.
And so, the major, groundbreaking health reform initiative seems to be shrinking each day.
Even so, Senate Democrats are putting their best faces forward. "There's enough good in this bill, that even without those two (things), we've got to move it," said Tom Harkin of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. With Christmas and the self imposed deadline of the year-end approaching, the question remains: will there be much left before the final vote?