Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is playing his cards close to his chest on healthcare reform, refusing to tell a home state paper whether he supports a public option.

From an interview with the Billings Gazette:

Baucus once again declined to stake out positions on two of the thorniest issue on health reform legislation: Whether it will create a government-run health plan that competes with private insurance, and which taxes may be raised to help pay for it all.

"I want to, on (those) points, keep my powder dry, so I can be more effective and work with other members of Congress," he said. "I think it's important to keep people talking, keep people at the table."

When asked why Montanans shouldn't know what he wants and will support on contentious health reform issues, Baucus replied: "They'll in good time know."

The White House will apparently not include a public option in the list of "musts" it will submit to Congress. Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), a key centrist Democrat, said today she won't support a public plan. The AFL-CIO, however, has a different opinion...