Public Option Lives



Dave Mann

The Washington Post is reporting that Harry Reid plans to include a public option in the Senate’s version of the health care reform bill:

Under pressure from liberals in his caucus, Reid has carefully canvassed Senate Democrats in search of 60 votes needed to bring health-care reform to the floor with a public option provision included. So far, he has not locked down commitments from every Democrat, Senate sources said.Some of the public-option approaches on the table include an “opt out” clause that would allow states to decide not to participate in a government plan; 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.

Reid reportedly plans to make an announcement about the public option this afternoon.

It’s still not clear that a public option can garner the 60 votes needed to clear a filibuster in the Senate.

But the prospect of a government-run plan seems more likely today than it did even last week.

It’s amazing how some Democrats suddenly decided to fight for a public option after seeing this poll.

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Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.