We're going to look back at this week as the moment everyone freaked out needlessly, as the Senate Finance Committee—the rightmost pole in the health care debate—moved its plan further rightward, scaling back coverage and public intervention. Meanwhile, the House hasn't budged and expects to produce a bill with a public option. The final bill will be something in between; my guess, it will be the Senate bill plussed up a tiny bit, perhaps with a somewhat hobbled public plan, or one limited to individuals under a certain income threshold. A half dozen house liberals and a similar number of Blue Dogs will vote against it. In the Senate, no Republican will vote for it except Olympia Snowe. Every Democrat, including Ted Kennedy, Arlen Specter, and the newly-seated Al Franken, will vote for the bill.
In between now and then, it's going to be a long, hot summer in Washington DC.