Monday, October 26, 2009

Reid To Push Opt-Out Public Option

Updated with video:

Politico is reporting that Sen. Harry Reid will announce that he's going with the opt-out public option.
Ezra Klein describes the variety of public options here. Here is the opt-out version:
The national "opt-out" option: This is Sen. Chuck Schumer's modification of Carper's proposal, and it's attracted some kind words from Rockefeller. Schumer's vision is to have a national public option that states can opt out of if they choose. In other words, the administration would be national in scale, but Alabama could decide against offering the public option on their state's exchange. The downside to this is that some states won't have access to the public option. The upside is that the national option would have the strength to potentially succeed, and if it did prove able to offer lower costs and higher quality, it's hard to imagine even conservative states denying their residents access to it for very long.
I'll post video of Reid's announcement when it's available.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will announce this afternoon that he plans to push ahead with a public option vote – most likely one that includes an opt-out provision for states – even though he's currently short several votes for passage, according to people close to the situation.

The Nevada Democrat has 3:15 p.m. press conference to discuss details.

Reid, who spoke with virtually every member of his 60-member caucus this weekend, currently has between 56 and 57 votes for a proposal to create a national insurance plan but allow states to opt out of it, according to Democratic aides.

A public option with a "trigger" – supported by the White House and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) – has between 58 and 59 backers. It could be floated as an alternative if the opt-out measure fails to obtain the 60 votes needed for cloture, sources said.

Reid worked most of the weekend, convening several meetings with his leadership – and wrangling over the details with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Read the rest.