Here's an Idea

Tim F. at Balloon Juice has an interesting solution:

I say pass the Liebermanized bill and let the President sign it. Then use reconciliation to get the rest.

As he explains, all of the insurance regulations, which can't be passed via reconciliation, would remain in the current bill, and the public option, Medicare buy-ins, etc, would be passed with reconciliation.

Of course this begs the question: Would Lieberman filibuster the Senate bill anyway if he caught wind of the public option and Medicare buy-in being passed in a separate reconciliation bill? He might. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he did.

Adding... Ezra Klein wrote about the same idea:

A lot of e-mailers have asked whether Congress could pass health care now and then come back in a year and pass the public option, or Medicare buy-in, through reconciliation. The answer is yes, they absolutely can. They'd need to plan for it in the budget, as reconciliation instructions have to be passed at the beginning of the year. But there's nothing stopping them from doing that.

The question, in fact, is not "can they," but "will they?" And that depends, I guess, on a couple of things. First, the amount of sustained attention activists give to the issue. Second, how the issue plays in the 2010 midterms.