If you are a Democratic in Congress facing a tough race, there are very few things you can do that are more important to your re-election than voting to make sure that Congress finishes health care reform.
If a solidly Democratic bill were to pass under the balance of negotiating advantage would shift. So why does everyone write as if reconciliation were an alternative to ordinary legislation rather than a prelude?
Should it come down to using budget reconciliation, you can expect the punditocracy to inveigh against it. The foundation for this has already been laid by the AP using the GOP "nuclear option" talking point.
Democrats are all but admitting that they're killing off cap-and-trade for this year's legislative season. When the time comes, they will be blaming the Republicans, even though their own cowardice is the real culprit.