Based on the words of Obama & The Dems today, it appears that they are prepared to use reconciliation (the "nuclear option," meaning only 51 votes are necessary in the Senate) to jam through a massive and highly unpopular health care bill. What's more, Obama is calling on his minions to get this done in the next two weeks (link below). No surprise there. They want this done before dem lawmakers have to go back home for Spring Break and hear from a lot of angry constituents on this issue. They want to avoid a repeat of the town hall meetings of last August, in which they were actually forced to listen to the American people. Chicken$hit stuff? Most definitely. But no surprise there.
But what about the use of reconciliation? Isn't that a surprise? Not really, since it doesn't appear that dems will try to use that obscure procedural mechanism to pass an entire health care bill. Rather, it appears that they will doing exactly what Dick Morris predicted they would do weeks ago (as discussed then in this space). That is, the Senate version of the bill (which has already passed the Senate) will be passed by the House without any changes. Then the dems will use reconciliation in the Senate to make the changes to the bill that the radical leftist progressives in the House demand. Sure, Obama is talking about tossing in a few republican ideas as well, but that's just window dressing. It will still be the same massive monstrosity of a bill -- just with a few modest republican proposals thrown in on top.
The only good news here is that Obama & The Dems are not assured of success. They may have trouble rounding up enough votes in the House to pass the Senate bill and/or enough votes in the Senate to jam through changes to the Senate bill using the nuclear option. One can only hope.