August 17, 2009


Are Dems Losing the Battle Over Public Option?: Bipartisan Health Care Reform Could Mean Losing Key Democrat-Backed Provisions (KRISTINA WONG, Aug. 16, 2009, ABC News)

"The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for the public option. There never have been. So to continue to chase that rabbit, I think, is just a wasted effort," [Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D] said on "Fox News Sunday."

Instead, Conrad -- who is the Senate Budget Committee chairman and member of the "Gang of Six," a bipartisan group of senators -- touted a compromise solution: the "co-op."

"It's not government-run and government-controlled. It's membership-run and membership-controlled," he said. "But it does provide a nonprofit competitor for the for-profit insurance companies, and that's why it has appeal on both sides. It's the only plan that has bipartisan support in the United States Senate."

The government would provide seed money for such a co-op in order for it to fulfill the requirement that every health insurer hold a certain amount in reserve, but after that, be "membership-run, membership-controlled."

Sen. Richard Shelby, a top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee said he would be open to the idea of a co-op.

"Well, I think that's something we should look at. We already have a lot of those, or something like them, nonprofit, basically, that seem to work. I don't know if it will do everything people want, but we ought to look at it. I think it's a far cry from the original proposals," Shelby said.

While Republicans and Americans anxious about a "government takeover" may be assuaged by the dropping of a "public option" from any Senate bill, the president faces flak from House Democrats, whose bill included a public option.

They can't pass a public option, can't pay for it with taxes on the rich, can't fund abortion, can't kill old people, and can't cover illegals--what's in it for the Left?

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2009 6:39 AM
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