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Senate health care bill may include public health insurance option

Harry ReidEarlier this month, Mike wrote an article that talked about the decision of Olympia Snowe to support the health care legislation and help it proceed from committee. Consequently, she was the only Republican to vote for the bill that came out of the Senate Finance Committee. In the comments on that article, I speculated that Senator Snowe may have supported the bill’s move from committee in the hope that she could possibly influence the final version of the bill. That legislation is now in closed door meetings in the Senate, in an effort to combine it with another Senate bill and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said it will include a public insurance option.

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I am not sure if I want to get into the pros and cons of a public health insurance option, as we have discussed them over and over in the different discussions we have had. What I find interesting is how the public option was declared to be a requirement by some Democrats and when public support for such an option seemed to be waning during the summer Congressional recess, that “requirement” didn’t seem as requiring. Now that the polls are showing some modicum of support for a public option, Reid is finding a way to put back in the Senate version of the bill.

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It is not clear if Senator Reid has enough votes to force that option into the bill, but it is clear he is working hard. From all indications, he will not have the support of Senator Snowe. She has said she is deeply disappointed by Reid’s decision to include the option, even if it includes an opt-out provision for individual states. Most, if not all states, would likely not choose to opt-out of the plan.

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If the public option is included in the final version of the bill, it seems sure that Snowe will choose not to support it. That means the Democrats will most likely have enough votes to secure it’s inclusion, if they can round up the entire Democratic caucus and garner their support. A few moderate Democrats will be the key to this legislative wrangling, including Senator Blanche Lincoln, from Arkansas. Other key Democrats include Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

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Did you think the debate over health care reform was settling down? Ha, Ha, not a chance. It’s beginning to look like it is just heating up.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • The imperfection of our legislative process is being highlighted in this health care reform debate. Senate Republicans have done a marvelous job in support of the insurance industry by opposing any reform that would infringe on insurance company profits. Perhaps they will force Senate Democrats to craft a bad bill.

  • David, that ‘s a rather loaded statement, isn’t it? Ideally, the political system would ban anyone who can’t vote from contributing or paying off politicians. That would keep the insurance companies from contributing (in order to protect their 2% profit margin), however, it would also keep out the unions and trial lawyers.

    Renaming the trojan horse for single payer will change nothing. It will be resisted.

  • The debate is just beginning to heat up, as you said.
    it has been fascinating (and frustrating) to follow. I just can’t figure out Snowe, one minute she seems to be for it, the next minute she is against it. With it looking like she is now against it and with the defection of Joe Lieberman it is going to be very difficult for Reid to get the votes on this. But stay tuned, tomorrow it could look completely different.
    .-= Mr Pink Eyes´s last blog ..President Obama loses two climate change battles =-.

  • $1.2 trillion! Man, the Democrats sure now how to spend money. They make Bush & team look like misers.

    I hope that this bill goes down in flames. Everything that Obama is proposing (along with his Congressional minions) is done in a crisis mentality. Really, is it that bad? No, but it can certainly be much worse.

    Hold on to your wallets!

  • I can’t believe there are not more people protesting this massive spending all over the country. How is that hope and change working for you? The stimulus? An utter failure. You can’t solve the deficit problems by spending more money on health care reform and then printing phantom money out of thin air. This government needs to be held accountable and brought up on criminal charges.

    A public option will not be the answer. Yes people will pre-existing health conditions will get care but our system is now in the hands of the government and will eventually put insurance companies out of business. I don’t know about you but I want the right to buy private health insurance as I please. What about the people in office? If the public option is so great then they and their families shouldn’t object to being on the coverage themselves!
    .-= Jeremy´s last blog ..How will Health Care Reform affect you? =-.