From The Washington Post:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) announced Monday that he will seek to bring a health-care bill to the Senate floor that includes a government insurance plan, a major reversal from just two weeks ago, when Reid was leaning against the idea.
He also called for the bill to include a version of the so-called public option with an clause that would allow states to decide by 2014 not to participate in the government plan.
“The best way to move forward is a public option with the opt-out provision for states,” Reid told reporters, adding that he “clearly” believes that such a bill would have “the support of my caucus.”
Original DVD cover
Original comic book Olympia Snowe is holding
It also has the support of the White House, which said that President Obama was “pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out.”
The proposal Reid discussed Monday is a merger of two bills previously passed out of Senate committees.
Under pressure from liberal Democrats to include a public-option provision in any health reform bill, Reid has carefully canvassed the Senate in search of 60 votes. So far, he has not locked down commitments from every Democrat, Senate sources said.
Other public-option approaches on the table include an “opt-in” provision for states that many Democratic moderates prefer; and a “trigger” that would create a government plan if private insurers do not offer policies at affordable prices.
The latter has been promoted by Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), the lone Republican to vote thus far for health-care reform in the Senate, and the White House has been anxious to enlist Republican support for the health package.
But Reid indicated Monday that he would not be swayed by her opinion.
“I spoke to Olympia on Friday. I’ve talked to her on a number of occasions. And at this stage she does not like a public option of any kind,” he said. “And so we’ll have to move forward on this.”
Reid later returned to the question of Snowe’s vote, and those of Republicans.
“I’m always looking for Republicans. … It’s just a little hard to find them, and we’ve had to do a lot of this on our own,” he said.
From THE HILL:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday that the final version of the Senate’s healthcare plan is unpalatable even without the public option.
McConnell issued his statement minutes after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) unveiled the Senate’s full health bill that included an opt-out public health insurance option. McConnell said that the public “clearly does not like, and doesn’t support” the “core” of the finalized healthcare bill revealed today.
“So, wholly aside from the debate over whether the government gets into the insurance business, the core of the proposal is a bill that the American public clearly does not like, and doesn’t support,” he said.
Reid now must send the bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which will “score” the proposal. He cited “strong consensus” among his caucus and the White House for the version he announced.
The nonprofit “co-op” plans proposed by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) will be included in the bill. The final legislation does not have a public option “trigger” that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) indicated she could support.
Senator Chuck Schumer is very influential in the Senate, so it’s fair to say he’s plugged in to what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
With that in mind, he says Senate Democrats are closing in on the 60-votes they’ll need to pass a healthcare bill that does, indeed, include a public option.
Schumer says he sees polls that show once a government plan is explained to them, 3-out-of-4 Americans favor it.
“There will be competition,” Schumer said. “But it will be on a level playing field, and it will be an option. If you like your insurance now, you keep it, but there’ll be an alternative if you don’t. We need 60 votes to pass this and we’re getting real close. One or two more and we’ll be there, and I believe by the end of this week, we’ll have it.”
Schumer doesn’t see any Republicans voting for this legislation, meaning each and every Democrat is needed to pass the bill into law.
This weekend, Republican Senator John Mc Cain allowed that this public-option plan is likely to pass because Democrats have the votes, but he says his biggest beef is that Republicans have been shut out of meaningful negotiations.
19 responses to “Do Your Magic, Harry”
Well, if they’re so much for states’ rights that they want to let the states opt out of universal coverage and screw their people over, why not just rescind every measure that is designed to make the states do the right thing. I’m sure there are plenty in the deep south who would love that. *rolls eyes*
in a way, the opt-out is a perfect tool for the dems. the only governors who will choose to opt out are rethugs, and what are they going to tell their constituents? not so good for those living in states with rethug governors (i dread that mine might soon be that loathsome chinless bill mccollum, may he be doomed to change a million pillowcases).
The opt-out makes me cringe since I live in rethug central, Rove’s own personal rat lab. BC/BS owns 90% of the market, and they like it.
I’ve had 3 different brands of BC/BS. GE’s brand was great. The smaller company sucked. The school system’s is ok. But I’m not just thinking about me. There are SO many poor people here. And the state’s democratic legislature is so easy to manipulate.
When I was in college, Alabama had a law that whatever insurance didn’t cover, patients didn’t have to pay. That’s long gone.
Can we pencil in Lieberman as Voldemorte?
the opt-out makes me cringe a bit, but if that’s the best we can do, then that’s what we’ll have to settle for. i don’t see a lot of governors turning down the public option, especially in states that have little choice. in some states, the legislature will overrule the governors (like south carolina did with the stimulus). in other states, it might take a bit longer, but once people see that others have it good in other states that accepted the public option, they’ll vote against anyone who doesn’t support it.
you rock! looks great! harry and joe and arlen all are teh suck!
i wondered if a harry potter cover would get you back over here, jenn.
for the record, that’s mitch mcconnell in the corner and chuck schumer between harry and olympia. i had to find a pair of chuck’s glasses to put on him, because he just doesn’t look like chuck without them.
I for one *hate* the opt out & trigger concepts… they are just bullshit. We want reform. Although certain rethug states would opt out— because they have their pockets full of money- ashes ashes they all fall down….
The people pay the price, because not everyone can just up & move to another state for the sake of having health care.
I see this as akin to gay marriage.
If you go the State by State route you wind up with a mish mosh of conflicting laws. Your marriage is honored in Iowa but not Illinois.
Health care in Oregon, but not Idaho.
It’s too wide a stance (pun intended), and those really struggling w medical bankruptcy or hardship, really don’t have the resources to lobby their cause…. they are too busy treading water to stay afloat.
And don’t get me started on the money thing. The shrub dug us into an $11 trillion dollar debt & many people did not even blink. You do something good for people– like use people’s tax money for something that can keep them healthy & alive & it is an outrage.
Whatever happened to One Nation Indivisible???
Are we changing that part of the Pledge to Dog eat dog??? Every man for himself?
Maybe they should unleash the ultimate threat—
Support the Public Option or we will sick Grayson on you. HA!
you won’t get an argument out of me. if you take all the premiums collected by insurance companies, manage fraud, and get rid of paperwork generated by and for the insurance companies, you could fund medical care for all, educate new doctors, and have plenty of money for medical research.
Ugh! Just read the broken- breaking news… freaking Lieberman says he will side w repugs & fillibuster a public option.
These GOP’ers keep providing you w material.
Got anything on Turncoats…. because he could win an award.
Well hell, now they are back to sucking up to Olympia Snow…
a snow job for the country to get health care…
is there not one damned republican with a heart in the bunch???
this would almost be funny if it were not so life & death serious.
But Lieberman…. geez… Connecticut needs to recall this clown. He has crossed the line (as if being the McCain/Palin was not crossing the line enough!).
Get the hook!!!!!
as if being the McCain/Palin pitchman was not crossing the line enough.
i wasn’t surprised at all when joe mcliebercain jumped ship. the other day, i was talking to someone and said that i don’t trust him, and he’ll find a way to shit in the punchbowl and make the debate all about him. i think he hated that limpy snowe was getting so much attention.
i think people in connecticut should plan a big media event. they should line up in front of his office and have speaker after speaker tell his/her health care horror story. embarrass him and force him to admit that he doesn’t care about any of them.
Here’s something about Lieberman for you.
Looks like he might be doing it for the missus.
nonnie for president!!!
It really could be that simple couldn’t it?? I don’t mind the opt-out because it’ll prove how evil rethugs are when they take away their constituents insurance “just because we don’t like it” waaawaaaa aaaa aaaa. Big fat fuckin babies…
i don’t want to be prez, but i’ll live in the white house with all the chefs and the cool rooms. 🙂
It would be just like the stimulus money. The states’ constituents will just love it if their governors opt out of an affordable plan. They’d end up kissing their jobs goodbye.
look at all the smack talk bobby jindal did, and then he wound up going around the state, handing out what looked like publishers clearinghouse checks using the stimulus money. their hypocrisy is always unveiled sooner or later.
Somebody remind me again, why was Joe Lieberman allowed to keep his committee chairmanship again ? Oh yeah so after he pulls this lameassed fillibuster stunt he can lose it along with every other perk right down to his fucking parking place. Are we done being nice yet ?
i hope like hell that they threaten to take his chairmanship away. put him on latrine duty.
Harry Reid can suck on my hairy reed. lol