Countdown to Public Option

“At the end of the day, we will have a public option in our legislation,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said. “It’s good, better, best. We’re having that debate.”

WASHINGTON– Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) — Senate Democrats are leaning toward including a government-run insurance plan in a health-care measure that would let individual states opt out, a proposal House leaders signaled would be acceptable.

Liberals in Congress long have viewed such an approach, called a public option, as an essential ingredient of the effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system, and President Barack Obama has said frequently he favors it. But he has also made clear it is not essential to the legislation he seeks, a gesture to Democratic moderates who have opposed it.
Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said in separate interviews they had been told the plan was drawing interest in the private negotiations unfolding in an ornate room in the Capitol down the hall from the Senate chamber.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

The establishment of the so-called public option to compete with private insurers is opposed by Republicans and has split Democrats. To get support from reluctant members of his party, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is likely to include the opt-out version in the legislation, said a Democratic aide who requested anonymity.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who backs what she calls a more “robust” form of the public option, was asked yesterday about the Senate proposal at a Washington press conference.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi  (D-CA)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

I don’t think there’s much problem with that,” she said.
“At the end of the day, we will have a public option in our legislation,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said. “It’s good, better, best. We’re having that debate.”
Lawmakers are considering the biggest health-care changes since the creation of Medicare in 1965. The legislation, President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority, attempts to curb costs while covering tens of millions of the uninsured.
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7 Comments

Filed under Democrats, Health, Medicine

7 responses to “Countdown to Public Option

  1. Milt Garrett

    Please pass a strong public option. Better yet, why not lower Medicare to age 55 for a starter?

    Or, follow the Maryland healthcare program. It is not with a public option, but is successful at controling costs.

    • yes Medicare +5 would be ideal… we need to get a plan in place to avoid another 14 year delay (94-2010). The house will vote by the weekend and then the Senate needs to find the gumption to finish the job.

  2. linda simmons

    Sign me up in favor of the public option, don’t give up. There is no real change without it. We need REAL change, real competition.

  3. Deb F

    The public option is necessary to real health care reform. The American Public wants it. We need Congressmen and Senators with the courage to oppose the health insurance industry. Call it Medicare for all or anything else that allows our legislators to support it. Just get it done already.

  4. SG

    We need a public option as an alternative to private insurance companies when we are not covered by our employers. We deserve it.

  5. audiegrl

    They need to be reminded that they work for ‘us’ and not the insurance companies. 😉

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