Ezra Klein's reporting agrees with the logic that I set out after the Finance Committee votes on public option amendments yesterday: it's very unlikely that we'll see the Democrats use reconciliation for health care this year.
Two questions I'd have would be:
1. If a bill passes this year without any public option, might Democrats try to add one through reconciliation next year? I believe that a pure public option bill would probably be viable through reconciliation, although again I don't know that the votes are there. It's also possible that there might be more votes for public option after the 2010 elections, even if Democrats lose a couple of seats overall (suppose that Lincoln, Bennett, and Dodd lose, but that the new Republic from Connecticut winds up supporting public option, while the Democrats pick up new seats and public option votes in Ohio and New Hampshire).
2. How likely is it that cap-and-trade winds up moving through reconciliation next year? I'm no expert on that bill, but the politics of it, from what I can see, are slightly better for bipartisanship but a lot worse for beating a filibuster -- all Democrats have an interest in having health care pass in some form, but that's just not going to be the case with a climate change bill.