I am optimistic right now that either Ben Nelson or Olympia Snowe will provide the 60th vote needed for cloture on the health care bill.
At this point I think we are just watching the end of a long, slow dance that has already been choreographed behind closed doors.
Right now if I had to bet, I would say that the best odds are on Olympia Snowe to step up. There is no reason at this point for her to oppose the bill since it is essentially the same as the bill that came out of the Finance Committee which she already supported. The public option and Medicare buy-in proposal that she objected to in the interim period have been stripped away. The question is what would Nelson do at that point? I think once the filibuster is moot, he will vote to end cloture but still vote against the bill. Thus the cloture motion will pass 61-39.
Earlier this morning a final hurdle was cleared when Democrats defeated a Republican attempt to filibuster the Defense Appropriation bill. Sens. Snowe, Collins and Hutchison all broke ranks to support the troops, while the rest of the GOP hypocrites did what they usually do.